Halasana (Plough Pose)

Halasana (Plough Pose)


In Sanskrit “Hala” means “plough”, “Asana” means “Pose”.  The English name of this asana is “Plough Pose”.

Position : Supine

Type : Inversion

Spiritual Awareness : Vishuddhi chakra
Physical Awareness : Neck, thyroid, shoulders, hamstring, lower back

Dosha Suitability : Kapha

Introducery Asanas : Sarvangasana, Setu Bandha Asana

Procedure:

  1. Ideally this asana should be performed immediately in conjuction with Sarvasana. Moving from Sarvangasana to Halasana, taking the asana when the legs and torso are erect and in a straight line. Bring the feet slightly over the head for balance, remove the arms from behind the back and place them on the floor, arms straight, and palms down. Relax the body and slowly lower the legs over the head, keeping them straight and together until the toes touch the floor. Do not force the toes to touch the floor. Follow how to release the pose as described below.
  2. Taking the asana from shavasana: Lie flat on your back with the legs and feet together in a straight line. Hands and arms close to the body, palms down. Relax your whole body. Eyes are closed Inhale, contract the abdominal muscles slowly raise the legs to vertical position, keeping them straight and together. In an easy, contionous motion, engage your core muscles, press down on the arms and hands, and lift of the buttocks, lifting the spine bring the legs up and over the head. Lower the legs over the head, bringing the toes to touch the floor behind the head without straining. Do not force the toes to touch the floor.
  3. Hands remain palm facing down throughout, alternatively you can support the back or place them on the floor. Chin remains pressing against the chest in chin lock.
  4. To return to the starting position, gently place your arms and hands on the floor, close to place them on the floor. Chin remains pressing against the chest in chin lock.
  5. Exhale, slowly, lower the spine, vertebra by vertebra to the floor, followed by your buttocks. Do not lift your head.
  6. Once buttocks has reaches the floor, lower the legs keeping them straight.
  7. Perform this action without using support of the arms. The whole movement should combine balance with control of back and abdominal muscles.
  8. Relax in Shavasana.

Follow-up Poses:

  1. Ushtrasana
  2. Matsyasana
  3. Supta Vajrasana

Spotlight effects:  Abdomen, back of the neck, thyroid.

Physical Benefits: 

  1. Improves the tone and strength of the back muscles as the back is folded, as well as the leg muscles and abdominal muscles. It also removes the rigidity  of the muscles.
  2. Improves the working of the spinal nerves, putting pressure on the nerves in the neck region which are predominantly sympathetic.
  3. Improves the function of the thyroid, parathyroid and pituitary glands. All of the other endocrine glands are regulated by these main glands and so the overall function of the endocrine system is improved. This results in the improved functioning of all the systems of the body.
  4. Gives a complete stretch to the spine which increases its elasticity and overall  functioning.
  5. Stretches the shoulders.
  6. Activates digestion and helps with constipation, improves the efficiency of all the abdominal organs such as the spllen, pancreas, liver and kidneys. The breathing movements of the diaphragm help to massage the abdominal organs.
  7. Activates the thyroid gland and thymus gland stimulataing metabolism and immunity.
  8. Calms the mind and reduces stress.
  9. Can induce states of Pratyahara.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  1. Calms the brain.
  2. Stimualtes the abdominal organs and the thyroid gland.
  3. Stretches the shoulders and spine.
  4. Improves liver and kidneys functions.
  5. Improves immune system.

Precautions and Contraindications:

  1. Diarrhea.
  2. Helps to relieve the symptoms of menopause.
  3. Reduces stress and fatigue.
  4. Therapeutic for backache, headache, infertility, insomnia and sinusitis.
  5. Relieves constipation.
  6. High blood pressure.
  7. Slipped disc.
  8. Menstruation.
  9. Neck injury.