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Yoga Basics: your guide to the practice of yoga
Inversions arrow Plow
Halasana
Level of Difficutly: Intermediate
Print

Instructions

1. Lying on the floor with the arms along side the body with the palms down, bend the knees and kick and rock the legs up and back, bringing the bent knees to the forehead and placing the hands under the hips.

2. Slowly straighten the legs, reaching the toes to the floor over the head.

3. When the toes touch the floor, you can release the arms into one of three positions: a) along the floor, palms down behind your back; b) interlace the fingers behind your back and gently squeeze the shoulder blades together; c) slide the arms over your head and hold onto the toes.

4. Breathe and hold for 4-10 breaths.

5. To release: bend the knees back to the head, and carefully and slowly roll the spine back onto the floor.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Plow pose improves circulation of blood and lymph, stimulates the thyroid and immune system and releases stress and tension in the shoulders and back.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic shoulder, neck or back injury or inflammation, unmedicated high blood pressure, menstruation, pregnancy (after 1st trimester).

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Place a folded blanket under the shoulders.

Variations: There are three arm positions for this pose: A) along the floor, palms down behind your back; B) interlace the fingers behind your back and gently squeeze the shoulder blades together; C) slide the arms over your head and hold onto the toes.

Vinyasa

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Bridge, Shoulderstand.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Wind Relieving pose, Joyful Baby, Belly Twist.