Yoga is a practice that harmonizes the mind, body and soul and the main purpose of yoga is to strengthen the core. The many benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, enhanced respiration, energy, stamina, metabolism, augment cardiac health, weight reduction and protection from injury. There are so many different types of yoga, from ashtanga yoga and kundalini yoga to aerial yoga, each type confers you with indispensable health benefits.
One such yoga is Halasana or plough pose, which optimises overall physical and mental well-being. It is an inverted yoga posture that stretches, strengthens, and relaxes the whole body. It is basically an intermediate pose and one can adapt to suit their needs.
What is Halasana?
Halasana is a classic yoga asana that involves many types of yoga practices. Halasana or plough pose is derived from the Sanskrit word Hala that means plough and it is named because the final posture resembles the agricultural tool. Ranges between the toughest levels of intermediate and advanced, this posture is best done towards the ending of the yoga session. It’s the third of 12 basic asanas in the Sivananda sequence. If practised judiciously, this pose can elevate the body’s state to pratyahara (withdrawal of senses) and can be ended with pranayama or Shavasana.
How To Perform Halasana?
Lie on the floor in a supine position, with the arms along the body and palms facing down, bend the knees and jolt the legs up and back, bringing the bent knees towards the forehead and placing the hands under the hips.
As you exhale slowly, straighten your knees to achieve the proper posture. Keep your upper body perpendicular to the floor and legs completely extended.
Inhale, move your chin away from the sternum and soften your throat opening the shoulders and pressing into the ground with upper arms to pick up.
To get the holistic benefits of the pose, move the legs as far off from the head. At this pose, one can attain a chin lock. At this point, pressure is set on the thyroid glands.
Intertwine The Fingers Of Your Hands Behind Your Back And Mildly squeeze the shoulder together. You may also slide the arms overhead and clutch your toes.
Stay in this position holding your breath for 4-10 counts depending on the comfort level.
Finally, exhale slowly and retrieve your legs from behind the back and place them perpendicular to the mat.
Return to supine position once again and repeat this 3-4 times.
Tips for Plough Pose (Halasana)
Always do this pose slowly and gently, so that you do not strain your neck.
Provide support to your back on the top of your shoulders, lifting shoulders a little towards ears.
Avoid shaking the body, while bringing the legs down.
Health Incentives of Halasana
This pose enhances the tone and stamina of lower back muscles and spinal cord as the back is folded, as well as the leg and abdominal muscles.
Improves the functioning of the spinal nerves and the working of the sympathetic nervous system.
Promotes the functioning of the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, and pituitary glands. All other endocrine glands are controlled by these glands and thus uplifts the overall functioning of the endocrine system.
Improves blood flow
Promotes digestion process and treats indigestion, bloating, constipation, and other gastrointestinal woes.
Activates warms up and boosts mental well-being.
Provides relief from asthma and bronchitis.
Muscles, ligaments of thighs get relaxed and stretched.
Relaxes the nervous system, lowers stress and fatigue
Supports women during menopause
Improves flexibility and offers relaxation during leg cramps
Helps diabetic patients to normalize the blood sugar level.
Stimulates the working of reproductive organs
Builds a robust immune system
Provides therapeutic relief from backache, headache, insomnia, and sinusitis.
Contraindications of Halasana
Refrain doing Halasana if you have a neck injury, suffering from high blood pressure and stomach issues.
Women should not practise Halasana during pregnancy and during the first three days of the menstrual cycle
Seek advice from your healthcare provider if you are suffering from any chronic diseases or spinal disorders.