Halasana (Plough Pose) gets its name from the ‘plow’ (or ‘plough’) – a popular farming tool commonly used in Indian agriculture to prepare the soil for sowing the crops.
In Sanskrit Hala meaning “plough,” and Asana, meaning “pose.”
Therefore, halasana is also referred to as Plough pose. In this position, the body shows the shape of the Plough.
Let’s Know the unbeatable benefits of Halasana.
Halasana (Plough Pose), prepares the ‘field’ of the body and mind for deep rejuvenation as the plough is used for digging the soil. This pose gives flexibility to the spine as well as strengthens the back muscles.
Tips Before you start Halasana
To reap the benefits of halasana you should practice it early in the morning when your stomach and bowels are empty. If you don’t do it in the morning you can do it at any time when you feel your food is digested properly. The best alternative to the morning is you can do it in the evening. Make sure that the gap between your meal and your practice should be at least 3 hours.
How to do Halasana (Plough Pose)
- Lie on your back with your arms beside you, palms downwards.
- As you inhale, use your abdominal muscles to lift your feet off the floor, raising your legs vertically at a 90-degree angle.
- Continue to breathe normally and supporting your hips and back with your hands, lift them off the ground.
- Allow your legs to sweep in a 180-degree angle over your head till your toes touch the floor.
- Your back should be perpendicular to the floor.
- Hold this pose and let your body relax more and more with each steady breath.
- After about a minute of resting in this pose, you may bring your legs down on exhalation.
- Avoid jerking your body, while bringing the legs down.
Must know while you do Halasana
1. At the beginner level you place folded blankets under your shoulders. This provide support to your upper body and neck.
2. Do this asana slowly and gently. Ensure that you do not put any extra strain on your neck.
3. If you find it difficult to lift your hips off the ground, Place a pillow under them. This will give you the initial push.
4. Use both your hands to stabilize yourself and keep them there till you’ve safely placed your toes on the ground. Even the slightest movement could create imbalance and you could risk injury to your neck.
5. Try another version of Halasana, known as Ardhaasana If you have a stiffer back. In Ardhaasana your legs are parallel to the floor and resting on a chair
6. Do breathing exercises at least 5 minutes before doing this pose.
Breathing – Inhale and hold on to your breath while you get into the pose. Exhale and then steady your breath while in the pose. When you want to resume your earlier position, breathe and hold on to it again.
7. Avoid jerking your body, while bringing the legs down.
Benefits of Halasana (Plough Pose)
- Improves the function of the Thyroid, Parathyroid, Pituitary Glands, Endocrine Glands, Abdominal Organs including spleen, pancreas, liver, and kidneys. and activates the immune system. To reap the benefits of halasana you should practice it regularly.
- Beneficial for diabetic patients because it normalizes blood glucose levels and stimulates the internal organs.
- Strengthens the abdominal muscles.
- Make the spinal cord strong and flexible.
- Improves digestion and appetite.
- Relives constipation. Subsides gas and upper body discomfort due to indigestion.
- Reduces weight, regulates metabolism. The extra weight around the thighs, abdomen, hips, and neck are slowly shed with repeated practice.
- Calms the nervous system, reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
- It stimulates the reproductive organs and relieves the symptoms of menopause
- It helps cure backaches, infertility, sinusitis, insomnia, and headaches.
- Strengthens and opens up the neck, shoulders, abs, and back muscles. To reap the benefits of halasana you should practice it regularly.
Suggested Asanas/Poses before Halasana
Poorva Halasana is a preparatory asana before you practice the full Halasana pose. It is relatively easy to perform.
Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana) is usually done before the Plow Pose (Halasana)
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana) is another asana that can be done before Halasana.
Suggested Asanas/Poses after Halasana
Halasana could be followed by the Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana).
Contraindications of Halasana:
Avoid practicing this asana if you have the following problems:
High blood pressure
Neck injury, hernia, slipped disc, sciatica or any serious back problem.
Logic of Halasana
Halasana increases the blood flow in the lumbo-thoracic regions and It also releases tension or stress in the throat and neck region. If there is an accumulation of mucous or phlegm in the respiratory system or the sinuses, this asana helps to flush it all out with streamlined breathing.
Halasana heals and calms the sympathetic nervous system. It helps to balance the secretions in the glands, specifically thyroxine and adrenaline. It also removes toxins from the urinary and digestive tracts. To reap the benefits of halasana you should practice it regularly. Practicing this asana regularly rejuvenates your entire body.