Halasana – Plough Pose

Halasana

Halasana – Plough pose

School of Yoga explains halasana (Plough Pose)

School of Yoga explains – halasana technique : (Should be learned under supervision)

  • Sthithi (starting) position: Lie on the back, hands to the side. Breathe in.
  • Breathing out, using back and leg muscles as support, lift legs off the floor, over the face to the rear of the head.
  • Slowly, taking care not to jerk the neck, begin to stretch legs as far as possible. Ensure that there is equality in the stretch of the legs, legs are straight and that there is no distortion in the balance between the legs when stretching.
  • Initially legs will bend and not stretch out straight. Over time and with practice, final posture will be reached.
  • At this point, the shoulder will support the back and will lock with the neck.

    Halasana

    Yogacharya Sundaram demonstrating intermediate step – Halasana in 1920’s

  • The degree to which the legs are straightened and stretched away from the face indicates expertise in this asana.
  • Maintain shallow breathing if unable to sustain a “breathing out” state.
  • Hold 3 to 10 counts.
  • Slowly, release the pressure on the back and bring the feet closer to the face
  • Breathing in, lift the legs and bring them back to the ground. Straighten the body
  • Breathe deeply. Repeat 3 to 6 times.
  • The drishti (gaze) recommended is focus on the neck-lock in the vishuddichakra.
Halasana

Yogacharya Sundaram demonstrating final Halasana – 1920’s

School of Yoga explains – halasana benefits :

  • This exercise is excellent for toning up nerves and muscles of the entire spine – neck, shoulders, upper and lower back, lower thigh muscles and hamstrings.
  • This pose energises the cardio vascular system to a lesser extent.
  • In the final pose, where there is a chin lock, the carotid artery is squeezed, thereby diverting blood to the thyroid. This improves the functioning of this critical component of the endocrine system.
Halasana

Sundaramadhavan demonstrating Halasana variant

 School of Yoga explains – halasana contraindications

  • If you have any form of back ache, do not attempt this asana without adequate supervision and support.
  • People with cardiac problems, lower back problems and circulatory disorders should not attempt the final position. 
  • Do not perform this asana if you have cervical spondylosis, hernia or arthritis.
  • This asana should not be practiced during menstruation or pregnancy.

Some noteworthy points on halasana:

Internal Links: Dharma (conditioning), Stress and Situational Awareness, Prana, Asana overview 1, Asana Overview 2, Asana Focus or gazing, PranayamaHatha Yoga Pradeepika 

External Links: Prana, Chakra, Pancha Tattva, Pancha Prana, Pancha Kosha, Nadi,

Halasana

Sarada Krishnan demonstrating Halasana (final stage) in 1950’s

  • While this exercise is very good for energizing the endocrine system, those with cervical or lumbar spondylosis should avoid this exercise completely. 
  • Some would be tempted to use the hand to support the back when lifting and returning the legs to its original position. Whilst this is acceptable when one is learning the exercise, over time one should try to lift the legs and take it over the face to the rear without support as this strengthens the muscles of the lower back.
  • The use of the back to lift legs also results in increased sense of balance between left as well as right halves of the torso but one should be careful and not jerk or move too rapidly.
Editor at School Of Yoga
School Of Yoga is a single point resource for all aspects of Classical Yoga practise. We try to achieve this by placing Yoga's traditional methodology in front of the reader and eliciting his or her experience. We value everyone's Yoga experience and would like you to share and enrich other practitioners so that everyone benefits.
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[…] lock reverses and compensates for pressure created by the neck lock created by sarvangasana and halasana. So, halasana should always be followed by sarvangasana and finally by […]

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