Analysis of Halasana

Halasana also known as the plough pose.Hala meaning “Plough” and Asana = “posture”.

It is can also be called a forward bend while lying on your back which helps to strength the spine and make it more flexible.

It is usually done as a continuation of Sarvangasana (shoulder stand).

Benefits and positive effects  

  • Provides a good stretch to the thoracic vertebra and increases flexibility
  • Promotes the efficiency of the spleen and heart
  • Helps with digestive and gut related health problems
  • Good for pelvic region and any menstrual problems
  • It results in the mobility of the back to perform Paschimottasana (seated forward bend) as well.

Suggested warm up poses 

  • Uttanasana (standing forward bend)
  • Paschimottasana (seated forward bend)
  • Sarvangasana (shoulder stand)
  • Sethu bandhansana (Bridge pose)

The muscles benefitted 

  • Lower Back
  • Middle Back
  • Upper Back
  • Core (Abs)
  • Hamstrings
  • Hips
  • Neck
  • Pelvic

Technique to get into the pose

  1. Lie flat on your back, with the palms firmly on the ground beside your body.
  2. Inhale and slowly lift your legs off the mat using the strength of your waist without bending the knees.
  3. Continue raising the lower body off the mat, until your chest is also off the ground into shoulder stand pose with chin touching the sternum
  4. Exhale to release the chin lock, lower the waist slightly, moving your arms and legs over the head and finally the toes resting on the floor. 
  5. If touching your feet over head isn’t possible at the start, place a chair or any object behind you to attain the furthest distance possible and over time you can go lower. This variation is also helpful for anyone suffering with blood pressure issues.
  6. Continue to breath here as you keep your knees straight by tightening your hamstring muscles and raising your trunk
  7. Exhale and stretch your arms in the opposite direction of your legs
  8. Interlock the finger with the wrist on the floor OR Stretch the palms on the floor as you pull your shoulder forward.
  9. With the legs and hands stretched in the opposite direction feel the spine stretching completely
  10. While interlocking the fingering make sure to change the positions of the thumb and then stretch for a harmonious development and elasticity of both the shoulders. If interlocking the fingers are difficult at the start, do not force as it gets easier with time so start by trying to just place your palms on the floor as mentioned above.
  11. Remain in the attainable pose for as long as you can (maximum up-to 5 minutes) with normal breathing

Technique to get out of the pose

  1. Inhale, Release your palms if interlocked beside your body, raise your legs up to shoulder stand
  2. Exhale and gradually bring your legs down to the mat.
  3. Lie on your back and relax

Gaze 

Throughout the pose gaze at the tip of your nose

Suggested cool down poses

  • Continue to Lie flat on the ground in Savasana
  • Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)
  • Vipariti Karani (Legs to the wall)

Caution!

Halasana is not recommended for people having the below conditions

  • Extreme Backache
  • Spine and neck Injuries
  • Heart and blood pressure disorders

If needed, perform the variation (no. 5 under Technique) mentioned above which will help release the stiffness in the back or spine. 

Enjoy the “plough posture”!

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