Thursday, 31 October 2013

Plow Pose: Halasana I


hala = plow

The Plow Pose stretches your spine, thus, improving spinal flexibility. It benefits the thyroid gland and abdomen, eases tension in the shoulders and back, and reduces stress.

 The Plow pose is also good for your digestion and it strengthens the kidneys, the liver and the gall bladder. 

STEP 1: Lie down with your back on a Yoga Mat.
STEP 2: Your shoulders should lie on the edge and your head rests on the mat. Your legs are drawn in and still stand on the mat.
STEP 3: Lift your hips off the floor and bring your legs up, over and beyond your head.
STEP 4: At this point, lift your back and move your legs further beyond your head.
STEP 5: Straighten your spine and keep your back straight. Move your hands toward your back.
STEP 6: Place your arms against your upper back and try to place your hands as near as possible to the shoulder blades. Try to place your elbows at shoulder-width. If you cannot do this, put them at a somewhat wider distance from each other.

By stretching your back and through relaxation in the muscles and through your position the legs slowly move further and further backwards. Try to relax the shoulders and the neck muscles through your breathing. If your breathing feels oppressed, the pressure in the heart area gets too big or your jaw is pinched off, you should walk backwards a little with your legs.

Slowly bring your legs, one by one, back to the mat, stretch your arms lengthwise away from you and slowly roll off your back downwards, vertebra by vertebra.

It is advisable to lie on a yoga block with your neck and your back in order to relieve the neck muscles a little and to make the stretching of the back easier. There are three important movements in the Plough: 1) The upper back is stretched up to the top of the chest bone. This means that the upper back does not sink down and there is no bend in the back. 2) Through the upward movement from the upper back you get a movement in the direction of the chest bone 3) You stretch your pelvis upward from the sacrum, with the result that your chest bone gets more space. During this exercise you should try not to lose these three connections. In fact try to work them out further and further. 

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