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Yoga Poses: Plow Pose (Halasana)

Resources, Yoga

Yoga Poses: Plow Pose (Halasana)

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The Plow Pose (Halasana) is named so, as one’s body attains the shape of a plow (hala) while performing this pose. Just as a plow prepares the field for growing crops, this pose helps one prepare the field of the body for better health and growth.

It is an ideal spine stretch pose as well as an inverted yoga position which prepares one for relaxation, breathing exercises and meditation.

Health Benefits

Plow pose mainly stretches the shoulder and spine. It also helps to relieve the menopause symptoms and stimulates the abdominal organs and thyroid gland.

This pose reduces stress and fatigue and thus calms the brain. It acts as a therapy for headache, backache, infertility, insomnia and sinusitis.

Getting into the pose

What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Initial Position: Shoulder stand pose (Salamba Sarvangasana)

Drishti or Gaze: Upwards, towards the sky

Steps

  1. Lie in a supine position on the floor, with your arms to the sides and palms facing downwards.
  2. Inhale on a count of 3 and using the muscles of your abdomen, lift the feet off the floor. Raise your legs vertically up, to an angle of 90 degrees.
  3. Continue normal breathing and lift your back and hips off the ground by supporting them with your hands.
  4. Let your legs go over your head and make your toes touch the floor at the back of your head. Make sure your back remains perpendicular to the floor. Be careful not to strain or hurt your neck while you do this.
  5. Hold this pose for at least 3 breaths (for beginners) and let your body relax with each breath.
  6. Exhale and bring down your legs gradually and carefully. Do not jerk your back or legs while releasing the pose.

Release back muscle tension with Cobra pose, or rest in Corpse pose if you feel exerted.

Other variations

  • Side Plow Pose (Parsva Halasana): Get into the plow pose and as you exhale walk up your feet to either side. You can go as far as you like, as long as you feel comfortable. Try to keep the pelvis in a steady and neutral position and your hips should be parallel to the floor. Hold for 5 breaths and release. Repeat the same for 5 breaths, with the other side and release.

Preparatory poses

Beginner’s tips

Beginners need not touch their feet to the floor at first. They can take the support of a wall and touch their feet to the wall, once they are overhead.

Advanced poses

Important Notes

  • This pose is not recommended for pregnant ladies and ladies who are menstruating.
  • Patients of high B.P. and diarrhea should also refrain from practicing this pose.
  • Neck injury and asthma patients are suggested to avoid this pose.

Last updated: July 19th, 2014

Next scheduled update: Sept 19th, 2014

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