Halasana: The Plow Pose in Yoga

Yoga consists of Asanas (Postures), Pranayama (Breathing techniques) and a whole set of texts that guide you on how to implement Yogic teachings in everyday life. Each of the Asanas help exercise, strengthen or loosen a part of the body or a muscle group. Many of the Asanas even work on the internal organs and help keep them functioning normally. The Halasana or the Plow pose is one such posture that helps strengthen and tone the body.
Halasana - Plow Pose

How to Practice Halasana?

The Plow pose is also known as Halasana. It is an inverted posture in Yoga that is done lying down.

  • You can start this posture by lying flat on your back on the floor with your arms straight by your side close to the body and legs together.
  • Slowly inhale and while exhaling, bend your knees and bring them close to your chest.
  • Then slowly, while inhaling, straighten both your legs up together such that they are perpendicular to your torso.
  • Now exhale slowly and while doing so, lift you hips off the floor with the arms supporting the back. Keep your legs straight so that they slowly go over your head to touch the floor behind your head.
  • Once you are balanced slowly let the support of your arms go, keep them straight close to your body and clasp your hands or keep the palms flat on the floor.
  • Hold this position for five counts while holding breath or in normal breathing.
  • Now slowly, inhale, support you back with your arms, bend your knees and slowly rest your hips on the floor again.
  • Then straighten your legs perpendicular to the torso and bring them back down on the floor straight to return back to the starting position.

This posture can be repeated three or more times. Either this, or you could repeat it just twice, while holding the posture longer each time.

Benefits of Halasana in Yoga

  • Strengthens legs, especially calves and thighs
  • Stretches and loosens the spinal bones and muscles, relieves stiffness
  • Helps tone the abdomen
  • Massages the thyroid and parathyroid glands, lungs and heart
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Increases blood circulation to the brain, thereby increasing alertness

Those with severe back injuries or problems should avoid this Asana. Those with eyesight problems should do this posture very slowly and carefully as it puts immense pressure on the head, especially on the eyes.

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