This yoga pose gets its name from the plow – a popular farming tool commonly used in Indian agriculture to prepare the soil for sowing crops. Like its namesake, this pose prepares the ‘field’ of the body and mind for deep rejuvenation. Halasana is pronounced as hah-LAHS-uh-nuh.
How to do Plow Pose (Halasana)
Lie on your back with your arms beside you, palms downwards.
As you inhale, use your abdominal muscles to lift your feet off the floor, raising your legs vertically at a 90 degree angle.
Continue to breathe normally and supporting your hips and back with your hands, lift them off the ground.
Allow your legs to sweep in a 180 degree angle over your head till your toes touch the floor. Your back should be perpendicular to the floor. This may be difficult initially, but make an attempt for a few seconds.
Tip: Do this slowly and gently. Ensure that you do not strain your neck or push it into the ground.
Hold this pose and let your body relax more and more with each steady breath.
After about a minute (a few seconds for beginners) of resting in this pose, you may gently bring your legs down on exhalation.
Tip: Avoid jerking your body, while bringing the legs down.
Plow Pose (Halasana) usually follows Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana) in Padma Sadhana sequence, and could also be followed by Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) and gently rocking the body in Wind-Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana).
Benefits of the Plow Pose (Halasana)
Strengthens and opens up the neck, shoulders, abs and back muscles
Calms the nervous system, reduces stress and fatigue
Tones the legs
Stimulates the thyroid gland, strengthens the immune system
Helps women during menopause
Contraindications of the Plow Pose (Halasana)
Avoid practicing Plow Pose (Halasana) if you have injured your neck, suffering from diarrhea and high blood pressure.
Ladies should avoid practicing Plow Pose (Halasana) during pregnancy and during the first two days of the menstrual cycle.
Consult a doctor before practicing Plow Pose (Halasana) if you have suffered from chronic diseases or spinal disorders in the recent past.
While a regular yoga practice can result in improved health, know that it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is important to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained teacher. In the case of a medical condition, practice yoga after consulting a doctor.