How to do Plough Pose, Halasana – Yoga Poses for inversion*
Halasana – the Plough Pose folded-over inversion is wonderfully rejuvenating to the entire nervous system. The abdominal organs are contracted and toned. The neck and shoulders are released from any habitual tension and the spine is stretched to its maximum.
1. Lie face up on a cushioned surface such as a soft carpet, folded blanket or a yoga mat. Beginners may prefer to use two or three tri-folded blankets. With blankets under your back, shoulders and elbows forming an upper level, have your head on a lower level. Lying flat relax the shoulders away from the ears. Draw the chin in toward the chest, lengthening the back of the neck.
2. Bend your knees in toward the chest. Press the palms of the hands firmly into the floor as you extend the feet over your head, straightening the legs. If your toes don’t reach the floor, then keep your palms on your lower back. Take care not to overdo it here, because this position is a very strong forward bend that also places a lots of weight on your shoulders and neck. Keep your head in line with the rest of the vertebral column.
3. Rest the toes on the floor behind the head, toes tucked under. To deepen the pose raise, the sitting bones upward as you press through the back of the legs, lengthening the hamstrings. Lift the upper chest toward the chin, bringing the spine more to a vertical position. Bring the palms of the hands together and interlock the fingers, rolling farther onto the top of the shoulders. Press the little finger side of the hands against the floor. If possible, untuck the toes so the tops of the feet up on the floor.
4. To come down, lower your buttocks to the floor ,then use your abdominal muscles to help you slowly lower legs, keeping the back of your head on the floor. Practice some counter poses (for example: Fish Pose) afterward to release the neck.
Gaze: tip of nose
- Bend the knees
- Support your back with the palms of your hands
Effect: Calming, restorative
Plough Pose, Halasana Counter Poses
In yoga we use a counter pose in a sequence; For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralise” the spine, or a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.
Inverted postures improve lymph and venus circulation. They work the heart and boost the immune system. Increased blood supply to the endocrine glands at the throat is the reason why inversions are considered to be hormonal balancers. As holding a position with a whole new relationship to gravity demands a certain steadiness of the body and mind, inversions are calming poses. Inversions let us see things from a new angle. They lesson tiredness and develop concentration. As inversions quiet the mind and settle the system down, they are generally practised towards the end of an asana session, after your body has been well warmed up.