Plow Yoga Pose
overview

Plow Yoga Pose is a forward bend, reclined, inversion pose that targets the shoulders and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at an intermediate level.

visuddha – the throat chakra
ajna – the third eye chakra
sahasrara – the crown chakra
related poses
How To Do Plow Yoga Pose
  1. Start on your back in the Corpse Pose (Savasana), knees bent with feet flat on the ground as opposed to legs extended. Lift both of your feet off the ground and bring your knees to your chest, keeping your elbows tucked in at your sides and your palms flat on the ground beside you.
  2. Pushing onto the floor with your hands, lift your hips off of the ground and toward your shoulders, knees still bent. If possible, once your hips are lifted, your knees should be positioned just above your forehead. Bend your elbows and bring your hands up to rest on your lower back, positioning your elbows so that they are as close together as possible. Your upper arms should still be flat on the mat.
  3. Continue to lift your torso higher, walking your hands down towards your shoulders until your torso is upright and you are resting on your shoulders. Make sure to keep your neck lifted, head on the ground, to prevent putting weight and stress on the neck.
  4. Once your torso is upright, fully extend your legs until they are straight and your heels are positioned directly above your shoulders. Hold for a few controlled breaths, or until you are steady.
  5. Slowly lower your legs, bringing your feet over your head. Try to keep your legs as straight as possible, eventually touching your toes to the ground. There should be a straight line running down the course of the back of your leg, all the way to the heel. Your toes should be pointed toward your head. If you cannot touch your toes to the ground, go as far as you can and hold the position, or bend your knees slightly. You may keep your hands on your back for support, or fully extend them on the floor in the opposite direction of your legs, hands clasped.
  6. Hold the position for a few controlled breaths, or from anywhere between 1-5 minutes. The nature of the position compresses the upper body, so do not attempt to take deep breaths. To come out of the position, place your arms back at your sides with your palms down. Slowly release the pose by bringing your legs down, feeling your spine roll onto the floor. Lay in Savasana for a few breaths before standing.
Notes
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • Keep your neck lifted slightly off the ground in this pose; this will prevent you from putting stress on your neck.
  • Do not bend the knees when raising the legs over your head.
  • This asana can put strain on the spine, causing injury if performed improperly. Starting out, it’s best to have a partner or instructor present to assist you through the steps.
  • Do not perform if you have diarrhea or if you are currently menstruating. If you are pregnant, only perform this position if you are experienced with it — do not attempt to learn for the first time while pregnant. Even if you are experienced, it’s recommended that you consult your physician prior to practicing this pose.
  • Avoid if you have high blood pressure (hypertension), slipped disc or hernia.
Tips

If you would like extra neck support, try placing a folded blanket under your shoulders. This will allow your head to rest a few inches below your shoulders when you rest your head on the mat.
You can vary the position with arm placement. Keep your hands on the back for support, extend them outward the opposite direction as your legs, or even extend toward your feet and wrap your fingers around your big toes.
Try transitioning from the Supported Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana) directly into Halasana.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Shoulders, hamstrings, calves, spine

Target Muscles: Shoulders, hamstrings, calves

Health Benefits of Plow Yoga Pose
  • Stimulates thyroid glands.
  • May help with diabetes.
  • Can ease constipation.
  • Helps relieve backache and headache.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Halasana

(hah-LAHs-anna)

hala: plow, earth
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

There’s gotta be some history or mythology on this pose! We’ve looked high and low and have only come up with this message. Perhaps you have some information or resource for us to explore?