Halāsana (Plough Pose)
- Lie flat on your back
- Keep your legs together
- Bring the arms down, palms facing down, close to the buttocks
- Raise your legs and hips up
- Support your back as your body straightens up into shoulder stand
- Gently bring your legs over your head
- Rest the toes on the ground
- Release your arms down and interlock the fingers
- Stay for 30 secs – 1 min
Asana in Depth
Halāsana, also known as the plough pose, is commonly done in combination with shoulder stand. After spending some time in shoulder stand, one proceeds to come into the plough, which has similar benefits.
Start by lying down on your mat, keeping the body straight. Make sure that you have space behind you, so that you can come into halāsana after. Bring your arms down, close to your buttocks. You can even tuck them under slightly, to maintain proper alignment of the shoulders. Make sure that the shoulders stay down on the mat. Then inhale as your swing your legs up, gently lift your hips up and immediately support your back with your hands. Keep walking the hands down the back, lifting the torso further
and further up, until it is in one straight line. From there, slowly drop the legs down behind the head, keeping them straight. Allow your toes to come all the way down so they can rest on the floor. Once the toes reach the floor, pull them closer to the head while you push the heels further out. Keep elongating the spine by lifting up through the sitting bones. Release the hands from your back and place your arms flat on the floor, or interlock the fingers. Ensure that your neck stays straight in this position and refrain
from turning your head around. Breathe deeply and allow the pose to be more meditative. You can stay here for 30 seconds to one minute, or longer if comfortable.
If you are fully balanced in the plough pose you can try some variations, such as bending the knees. Bring the knees close to the ears, bring your arms back and wrap them around your legs. Another variation would be to keep the legs straight, and bring the arms up to touch your toes. This often allows the shoulders to stay soft.
The benefits of this posture include stimulation of the thyroid gland, which helps to monitor hormones. It stretches the neck muscles. Being an inversion, it rejuvenates the braincells with fresh oxygen. It removes tiredness and sluggishness from the body and keeps you energised. It helps against depression and insomnia.
The counter indications for this pose are high blood pressure, back injuries and menstruation. It is advisable to avoid doing this pose if you have any of the above.
- Stimulates thyroid gland
- Stretches the neck
- Rejuvenates the brain
- Energises the body
- Removes fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Back injuries
- Strengthens triceps
- Engages trapezius and rhomboid muscles
- Strengthens spinal erector muscles