Definition - What does Sasangasana mean?
Sasangasana is a forward-bending yoga pose that stretches the spine, arms and shoulders. The name comes from the Sanskrit, sasaka, meaning "rabbit," and asana, meaning "pose." This position has been named after the shape it resembles: that of the round spine of a rabbit.
Starting in balasana, or child's pose, the hands grasp the feet and the top of the head is placed on the mat as close to the knees as possible. The body rolls forward on the crown of the head, lifting the hips as high as possible. The hands continue to hold the heels and the arms are straight.
Sasangasana is commonly referred to as rabbit pose in English.
Yogapedia explains Sasangasana
Practicing sasangasana can relieve stress and irritation. It calms the mind, alleviates fatigue, and may reduce mild depression. This pose also stimulates the thyroid and endocrine system. It is recommended to perform this pose for long periods of time in order to fully benefit from it.
This posture opens the heart chakra by rounding and lengthening the spine. Sasangasana also increases the flow of prana to the brain and improves blood flow through the ajna (crown) chakra.
Sasangasana is a perfect inversion for beginners and is also a preparatory pose for sirsasana, or headstand. It is a counter pose to ustrasana, or camel pose.
As a modification, one may place a folded blanket under the head and knees to reduce pressure while performing sasangasana.