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Plow Yoga Pose – Halasana

Plow Pose on the beach

Halasana

[hah-LAHS-anna]

Hala means plow. In many ancient cultures, the farmer was blessed by kings. Agriculture was regarded as a religious art, something that the gods and goddesses took special notice of.

 

Benefits of Plow Pose

  • Strengthens the gluteal, hamstring and lower back muscles.
  • Massages the thymus and thyroid glands for enhanced immune function.
  • Reverses the position of the internal organs, relieving pressure on the floor of the abdomen.

Contraindications

  • People who suffer from neck, esophageal reflux or shoulder pain may need to avoid this asana.
  • People using blood thinners should be cautious with inversions.
  • People who have suffered a stroke or a heart attack should approach this asana with caution as inversions increase pressure to the head and may cause plaque to move through the veins of the neck into the head.

Step-by-Step

  • Start in candlestick pose with your hands on the small of your back. Keeping the torso perpendicular, bring your legs parallel to the earth. Consider bringing your toes down onto a wall, chair, bolster or block.
  • Bring your legs parallel to the floor (if it feels comfortable for your neck). Make sure whatever version of the posture you choose respects the shock absorbing curve of your neck and doesn’t cause excessive flexion in your spine.
  • Feel all your Bandhas engage as you lift your hips and create space between your hips and rib cage.
  • Widen across your chest and the back of your shoulders.
  • Feel your femurs resting firmly in the hip sockets.
  • Notice that all your Bandhas are engaged. Uddiyanabandha helps to support your lower back. Jalandharabandha happens naturally since your chin is pressing downward towards your breastbone.
  • As your transversus abdominis wraps around your waist, feel your internal organs relax into this support.
  • Feel grounding earth energy coming up through your head, neck, shoulders and upper arms.
  • Engage your core muscles to come slowly out of this pose with control.

Preparatory Poses

Counter Poses