Hal’ stands for ‘plow’ and ‘Asana’ stands for ‘pose‘. Halasana or ‘the plough pose’ takes its name from the farming instrument, plough, used by farmers across India to prepare the soil for sowing of seeds. In the sequence of asanas, Halasana is usually performed after Sarvangasana, which is basically a shoulder stand. According to Meenakshi Swami, the author of The Science of Yoga, “asanas like halasana, suryanamaskara, seershasana and kapalbharti increase the flow of blood to your head, improving intellectual power as well as memory
Do not practice this pose if you are currently experiencing diarrhea. Also avoid this pose if you have glaucoma or other eye problems, or a serious back or neck injury. Women who are menstruating should consult with their teacher before practicing inversions, such as Halasana. Women who are pregnant can practice Halasana if it is already a part of their regular practice; otherwise, wait at least eight weeks after giving birth before attempting this pose. Those with asthma or high blood pressure should only practice a version of the pose with the legs supported if the feet do not come all the way to the ground (see Modifications & Variations, below).
Improves the tone and strength of back muscles as the back is folded, as well as the leg muscles and abdominal muscles. It also removes the rigidity of the back muscles. Improves the working of the spinal nerves, putting pressure on the nerves in the neck region which are predominantly sympathetic. Improves the function of the thyroid, parathyroid and pituitary glands. All of the other endocrine glands are regulated by these main glands and so the overall function of the endocrine system is improved. This results in the improved functioning of all the systems of the body. Gives a complete stretch to the spine which increases its elasticity and overall functioning. Activates digestion and helps with constipation, improves the efficiency of all the abdominal organs such as the spleen, pancreas, liver and kidneys. The breathing movements of the diaphragm help to massage the abdominal organs. Activates the thyroid gland and thymus gland, stimulating metabolism and immunity. Can induce states of pratyahara (sense withdrawal).
How To Do Halasana
- Lie on your back. Join the legs together. Relax the whole body (Shavasana position).
- Keep the palm flat on the ground. Keep breathing normally.
- While exhaling press the palm on ground and raise both the legs upwards straight then try to touch the ground just behind.
- Breathe slowly and hold the posture for several minutes (1-2 minutes).
- Now slowly release the pose to return to Shavasana.
- Repeat this for 3-5 times.