HOW TO: Plow Pose (Halasana)

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This variation of Shoulder Stand  provides a deep stretch to the backs of the legs and tones the abdominals.  I love this pose as a quick way to energize the mind and awaken the body.  Like any variation of Shoulder stand, it’s important to not move the head from side to side and to keep the chin tucked towards the chest. This pose can be modified by bringing the feet to a bench, chair, or yoga block if your feet cannot touch the ground.  You can also place a blanket underneath the shoulders to make the pose more comfortable.

Instructions:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and the palms facing down on either side of your body.
  • Press into your hands and lift your legs up and over your head.
  • Begin to straighten your legs back behind you bringing the toes in contact with the floor.
  • Interlace your fingers and squeeze the shoulder blades together to open your chest.
  • Keep your chin tucked into your chest and your neck long. Be careful to not move your head.
  • To come out of the pose release your palms to the ground and slowly roll your spine onto the mat.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the neck, shoulders, back, hamstrings, and chest
  • Relaxes and calms the mind
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs and thyroid gland
  • Reduces stress and fatigue
  • Relieves headache and backache
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