Yoga Tip: Rabbit Posture

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Several studio members have voiced confusion about this posture.
Here is sample of their comments: “My neck hurts…I don’t know where I’m supposed to feel it…Where are my hips supposed to go?”

Here are simple solutions. While you regularly hear these comments in class, it may be helpful to visualize these posture tips from the comfort of your home.

Q: “My neck hurts. What should I do?”
A: With a good grip (wrap towel over your heels) press your heels into your hands without lifting your feet. Simultaneously press your knees in the carpet as you lift your hips up and forward. Neither your feet nor knees will move, but these pressing actions will ground the pose in order to safely give your middle spine the most exquisite opening. Allow your spine to round up by rolling your hips forward and up. Pull on the heels with attitude (John Rossiter is good example. His posture doesn’t look half as good as lots of other members but he attacks the posture every single time). Inhale without allowing your gut to hang out and pull. These actions performed together will take all stress off your neck. Oh, yes, gaze at your heart. I realize this gaze will create a choking sensation. But this is where the magic happens. If you lower the gaze to your navel or inner thighs, you are missing a valuable parts of the rounding spine and chin lock. So do your best to be vigilant with the gaze.

Q: “Where am I supposed to feel it?”
A: Middle spine fanning down to lumbar and up to cervical vertebrae (when you round hips up/forward & pull on heels without bending your elbows). You must cultivate a strong grip. Think of your arms as being stretched taut like suspension cable holding up a bridge. In order words, learn to pull without bending your elbows.

Q: “Where are my hips supposed to go?”
A: Up & Forward. In the most idealized pose the femur (thigh bone) is moving toward perpendicular. To get here, you must work to apply all elements of rabbit in matter of seconds. From seated starting position, get the proper grip, shoulders back, chest forward, chin down, heart gaze. Then roll forward keeping shoulders back, forehead on top of knees, lift hips up, crown of head will roll onto carpet, walk knees up to forehead (Never move your head). Check the grip, touch heels together, inhale breathing suck gut & press knees down & lift hips up/forward & pull pull pull, lift shoulders up to ceiling & pull, close mouth/throat choked & pull, look at gut and pull, feel spine rounding & pull!!!

If I don’t see you before the New Millennium, may it lighten your heart and inspire you to new levels of love for the sacred life bestowed upon each of us.