How to do Plow Pose: Steps, Benefits and Precautions

Meaning of Plow Pose

Plow pose in Sanskrit is known as Halasana. Halasana is so-called because in its final pose it resembles a plow. Halasana can be classified as ‘ hah-LAHS-anna. Hala means is plow or plough. Plow pose is both a forward bending and a semi-inverted pose. Practicing plow pose and Sarvangasana make you prepare for the more advanced yoga poses.

How to do Plow Pose: Steps, Benefits and Precautions
Plow pose

How to do plow pose: steps of doing halasana

  • Lie flat on the floor, facing upward.
  • The legs should be straight and together.
  • Slowly raise the legs to the vertical position; use the abdominal muscles as much as possible and the arms as little as possible.
  • Raised the legs over the head, the buttocks and hips should also be simultaneously raised.
  • Slowly lower the feet toward the ground behind the head and if possible touch the toes to the ground behind the head.
  • Those who are unable to touch their feet on the ground can allow feet to suspend above the floor.
  • For the entire process, the legs should be straight.
  • Do breathing slowly and deeply.
  • This is the final pose and stay here as per your convenience.
  • While coming to the original position, the arms should be placed behind the back.

Breathing pattern for plow pose

  • Inhale while raising the legs at 90 degrees.
  • Exhale while bringing your legs to the ground.
  • While maintaining the pose, do inhaling and exhaling slowly.
  • Take deep breathing and come to the original position.

Advice to beginners

  • It is difficult for the beginners to touch the toes to the floor behind the head.
  • For beginners, it is better to suspend the feet above the floor, keeping the legs straight.
  • Beginners should place their fists under the buttocks with the knuckles facing upwards.
  • Practice it regularly for some time to make the back more supple so that toes will gradually move nearer to the ground.
  • The basic focus should stretch the muscles progressively, not permanently by force.
  • The practice of yoga poses like paschimottanasana, yoga mudra, janu sirshasana and shashankasana will help the practitioners to be perfect in halasana.

Duration

  • For a practitioner, it can be maintained up to five minutes and even more as per one’s convenience.
  • Beginners should start with about ten to twenty seconds in the final pose and increase by a few seconds every day.
  • If you don’t want to count seconds, do at least 10 breathing in the final stage.

Sequence

It is better to follow the following sequence while practicing of halasana

  • Sarvangasana
  • Lower the feet into halasana
  • Some or all of the variations
  • Return to lying position on the floor
  • Counterpose: Any backward bending yoga poses can be used as a counterpose of halasana. However, the best yoga poses, which can be done as counterpose are matsyasana, ushtrasana. supta vajrasana and chakrasana

Time to perform

  • The best time to practice plow pose is early in the morning before breakfast and late in the afternoon before dinner.
  • The yoga pose should not be practiced after meals or after vigorous exercises.

Precautions

There are few limitations of plow pose. These contraindications should be kept in mind while practising halasana.

  • People who suffer from hernia, slipped disc, sciatica, high blood pressure or any serious back ailments should not do halasana.
  • One shouldn’t use force or sudden jerks to touch the floor under any circumstances.
  • If you are still in doubt, take the guidance of a yoga expert.

Tips to perform plow pose

  • For maximum benefits of the pose, use only the abdominal muscles to raise the legs without any help of the arms.
  • Before returning to the starting position, the arms should be placed behind the back to minimize strain.
  • While returning to the original position, the movement should be slow and controlled, using the abdominal muscles as much as possible.
  • The legs should be lowered gently to the ground without any thud.
  • The back of the head should remain in contact with the floor throughout.

Benefits of plow pose

  • Plow pose makes the entire spine supple.
  • The practicing of it helps to stretch the muscles and loosens the vertebrae.
  • Halasana tones the nerves both inside and outside the spinal column. This leads to better efficiency of all the organs in the body.
  • Since the practice of plow pose exerts pressure on the neck region thus enhances the efficiency of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
  • The abdominal organs are massaged and muscles are strengthened. Accordingly helpful to alleviate constipation, dyspepsia, diabetes, and other abdominal ailments.
  • It helps to decongest and revitalize the liver, spleen, kidneys, pancreas, and adrenal glands.
  • Plow pose helps to remove backache, neck ache, and headache.
  • The regular practice of it induces the states of pratyahara (sense withdrawal), which is good for meditation.
  • The practice of it is good for high blood pressure as they will not feel a rush of blood in the head region.

Joint actions

The following joints are involved while practicing of plow pose. Spine cervical flexion; thoracic flexion; lumbar flexion; sacroiliac joint nutation; hip flexion, adduction, internal rotation; knee extension; ankle dorsiflexion; toe extension; scapula adduction, downward rotation, elevation; glenohumeral joint external rotation, extension, adduction; elbow extension; forearm pronation; wrist extension; finger and hand flexion to clasp hands.

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