Posture Clinic: Halasana

Halasana – Plow Pose

woman in halasana

As with many yoga asanas, Halasana’s name comes from the shape of a traditional plow found in Indian culture. Symbolically the plow is a tool that may unearth hidden treasures. Halasana is an inversion and is often offered at the end of a yoga practice because it prepares us to wind down and relax for savasana and meditation. B.K.S. Iyengar says that regular practice of Halasana gives strength and vigor, joy, and confidence.

Learn how to get into Halasana with these tips:

  1. Lie down on your mat with arms at sides, palms down and pressing into the floor (feel free to place a folded blanket under shoulders, not your neck, for more cushioning of the joints). Inhale and extend your legs up toward the sky, but keep your spine neutral on your mat.
  2. With core engaged on your exhale lift your pelvis off the floor and bring your hands to your low back for support as you encourage your legs to move over your head.
    *If this is difficult you can place a block under your pelvis to create and see if you can
    lift your hips higher from there.
  3. Continue to breathe as you release tension from your front body while supporting the lift of your back body; As much as possible keep your torso perpendicular to the floor and encourage your toes to sink toward the floor behind you(they may not touch at first). If the toes do touch the floor you can release your hands from your low back, clasp your hands and actively press your arms down to create support.
  4. After 5-10 breaths, begin to release plow pose by bending your knees as you mindfully roll down one vertebra at a time until your pelvis comes back to the floor.
  5. The main tip to remember here is to practice patience and remember that every day is a different experience so stay present with what your body needs in the moment. đŸ™‚

Benefits:

  • Stretches the shoulders and spine
  • Calms the brain
  • Nourishes thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine by increasing circulation
  • Can offer relief for backache, headache and insomnia

Cautions:

  • Neck injury
  • Diarrhea
  • Asthma and high blood pressure: keep legs supported on props