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Hatha Yoga Tip

HALASANA – The Plough – All Levels

Continuation of the forward bend movement in Shoulder stand/Sarvangasana, amplifying Sarvangasana.

Caution: If you have ever experienced disc discomforts or other painful neck conditions, seek advice from your yoga teacher before practicing.

Begin either from a lying down position on back, or taking legs over the head from the shoulder stand.

From mat: Raise legs and hips in 2 stages. Inhale and raise legs together to 90 degree angle. On next inhalation lift hips and support lower back with hands.

With control bring the legs over the head and point the feet to the floor.

Tip: Keep legs straight and back supported with hands.

If feet not on floor yet: Keep supporting lower back with hands. Breathe through the nose. Practice abdominal breathing. Hold the position 5 breaths and roll out.

If feet on floor, Extend arms flat on the floor behind back to increase flexibility of shoulder girdle. Keep arms close to each other as possible. Now interlock fingers and press palms against each other.

Variation: Take arms next to ears and try to touch toes. Move very smoothly.

Tip: Keep knees straight and legs together with toes pointed to head. Keep spine straight and focus on slow abdominal breathing. Think of the stretch as extending from fingers to neck and over back to feet in the plough shape. Hold up to 1 minute or half the time of shoulderstand.

Coming out of pose: Release hands, arms are flat on floor palms down to brake the descent. Raise the legs till parallel to floor. Then slowly roll the spine down to the floor.

Relax in corpse pose at least 8 breaths.


Keeps spine youthful, strong and elastic.
Loosens hamstrings.
Stretches entire back of body.
Helps flexibility of shoulder joints.
Increases blood supply of spinal nerves.
Improves digestion.

Mental Benefit: Soothes stressed nerves and tired brain. Helps better coping with any claustrophobia.

Those who practice Halasana can never become lazy. – Swami Sivananda

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication : “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre – 2010.

Maintain always serenity under all conditions and circumstances. – Swami Sivananda

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