Plow Through Struggle

Regular practice of Halasana (Plow Pose) rejuvenates the body’s entire system. Halasana helps nourish the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine by increasing circulation and suppleness, releases tension in the neck and throat, alleviates the accumulation of phlegm or mucus in the sinuses and respiratory system, and gradually assists in lengthening and regulating the breath.

Begin by lying down on your mat with arms at your sides, palms down, pressing into the floor. Spread your shoulder blades apart with a slight inward rotation of the arms. This allows the muscles under the shoulder blades to release their grip on the thoracic spine. With an inhalation, lift your legs up to vertical, keeping your spine flat on the floor. Take several breaths here, feeling the release of any tension in the throat, shoulders, and chest with each exhalation. With your next exhalation, slowly draw your navel toward the spine and lift your legs over your head, lifting your hips off the floor.

If this is difficult, move near a wall and, with your legs vertical, bend your knees to 90 degrees, press your feet into the wall, and practice raising your hips. When you feel a softness coming to your frontal body, move away from the wall to work at lifting your legs over your head until they are parallel with the floor. Keep your legs firm, your knees straight, and avoid hardening your buttocks.

 

Plow Pose

Halasana

HP_216_Halasana_248.jpg

(hah-LAHS-anna)
hala = plow

Step by Step

From Salamba Sarvangasana, exhale and bend from the hip joints to slowly lower your toes to the floor above and beyond your head. As much as possible, keep your torso perpendicular to the floor and your legs fully extended.

With your toes on the floor, lift your top thighs and tailbone toward the ceiling and draw your inner groins deep into the pelvis. Imagine that your torso is hanging from the height of your groins. Continue to draw your chin away from your sternum and soften your throat.

You can continue to press your hands against the back torso, pushing the back up toward the ceiling as you press the backs of the upper arms down, onto your support. Or you can release your hands away from your back and stretch the arms out behind you on the floor, opposite the legs. Clasp the hands and press the arms actively down on the support as you lift the thighs toward the ceiling.

Halasana is usually performed after Sarvangasana for anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. To exit the pose bring your hands onto your back again, lift back into Sarvangasana with an exhalation, then roll down onto your back, or simply roll out of the pose on an exhalation.

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