Plow Pose (Halasana)
Note: Best for intermediate and advanced students.
- From shoulder stand, exhale and bend from the hips to slowly lower your toes to the floor above your head. Try to keep your torso perpendicular to the floor and your legs fully extended.
- With your toes on the floor, lift your thighs and tailbone toward the ceiling and draw your inner groins deep into the pelvis. Draw your chin away from your sternum and soften your throat.
- You can continue pressing your hands against the back of your torso, gently pushing the back towards the ceiling as you press the backs of the upper arms down. Or, release your hands away from your back and stretch the arms out behind you on the floor, opposite the legs. Advanced: clasp the hands and press the arms actively down on the mat as you lift the thighs toward the ceiling.
- Plow pose is usually practiced after shoulder stand for a minute or more. To complete the pose, bring your hands onto your back again, and gently roll out of the pose on an exhalation.
Plow Pose benefits:
- Calms the brain
- Stimulates the abdominal organs and the thyroid
- Stretches the shoulders and spine
- Helps relieve symptoms of menopause
- Relieves stress and fatigue
- Therapeutic for backache, headache, infertility, insomnia, sinusitis
Plow Pose cautions and tips:
- Don’t practice while menstruating
- Don’t practice if you’ve had a neck injury
- With asthma & high blood pressure: Practice plow pose with the legs supported on props.
- Check with your doctor first if pregnant.
- This pose is intermediate to advanced. Don’t practice plow pose without sufficient prior experience unless you’re under the supervision of an experienced instructor.
- In plow pose there’s a tendency to overstretch the neck by pulling the shoulders too far away from the ears. Lift the shoulders slightly toward the ears to keep the back of the neck and throat soft. Open the sternum by firming the shoulder blades against the back.
See the dropdown menu under “Yoga Pose Instructions” for more yoga poses.