Halasana its Benefits and Steps To Do Plough Pose

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The negative effects of daily stressors on the human mind and body are fairly well documented. Time and again, we hear about these stressors bringing anxiety, depression and a bad back, amongst other things, to your body. But, did you know that these very stressors can also prove to be catastrophic for the private life you share with your partner as well?

Yes, you read that right. Studies have shown that stress, anxiety and other kinds of mental ailments also cause loss of virility as well, which is also known for making an individual’s love life complicated. Fortunately, there is a Yoga position that will help you with that. It is known as the Halasana, or the Plough pose. You will learn more about it as you move along the article. Let's embark on a journey into the depths of this elegant posture, exploring the benefits of Halasana, unraveling a step-by-step guide on how to perform the Plow Pose, delving into the anatomy of Halasana, addressing important considerations regarding when not to perform the Plow Pose, and finally, addressing common questions and doubts about Halasana that may arise along the yogic journey.

What is Halasana a.k.a Plough Pose

Halasana also known as the Plough Pose, is a relatively extreme and demanding form of Shoulderstand position which primarily focuses on the spine, the back, the gluteus muscles as well as the reproductive organs. 

The first descriptions of the pose were first found in the 19th century Yoga text known as the Sritattvanidhi under the name Langlasana and since then, it has found its way into the list of Hatha Yoga poses. On surface, this position seems to be an easy one in terms of execution, but perhaps there are very few that are as physically demanding as this one.

What Are The Benefits Of Halasana a.k.a Plough Pose

There are many upsides of executing Halasana also known as the Plough Pose with precision. Some of the important ones are as follows: 

Halasana Can Improve Your Romantic Life: The reverse flow of blood that happens while practising the Halasana has also proven to be beneficial for the students’ reproductive areas. Just like in the case of the brain, the reproductive system also begins to function better due to the said blood flow, thereby enhancing the practitioner’s virility. So, if you think you are falling short in that area, consider doing the Halasana.

Halasana Can Make Your Mind Stronger: The Halasana forces the blood present in your body to move upwards towards the brain, thereby improving the blood circulation in that area, which eventually results in a healthier brain.

Halasana Can Strengthen Your Back: The back muscles are one of the main targets of Halasana. While trying to get into the final Halasana form, you will engage all of your back muscles, which will feel an extreme stretching sensation. This stretching will eventually pave the way for a stronger back if the students’ Yoga routine is supplemented with a nutritious diet.

Halasana Can Make You Thinner: Yes, you read that right! The halasana can actually help you shed all of that unwanted fat by improving your metabolism rate. It does so by improving the blood supply into the pituitary gland, which is a small pea sized organ which is found very close to the dead centre of the brain but is responsible for bodily functions such as physical growth, digestion and metabolism.

Halasana Can Strengthen Your Legs: Halasana causes all of the muscles found on the posterior side of your legs to stretch, which causes microtears in them. Having microtears is a good thing since they have the tendency of making the muscles only stronger if the students’ diet has healthy amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fibres.

How To Do Halasana a.k.a Plough Pose

Although Halasana also known as the Plough Pose is considered to be an advanced-stage pose due to the number of body parts it directly impacts, it is a simple yoga asana in terms of execution. A step-by-step guide for the same can be found below.

Halasana Step 1: Across the length of your mat, begin the process of lying down by first simply turning onto one of your sides, resting your body on the ground and then rolling yourself into a lying down position.

Halasana Step 2: Make a note of your form. Ensure that at the end of Step 1, the length of your body is stretched out along the length of the mat. In addition, make sure that your feet are together with toes pointing upwards. You must also ensure that your arms are by your sides and the palms are lightly pressing against the ground.

Halasana Step 3: Lift your legs up in the air until it forms a 30-degree-angle with the ground. Avoid bending your knees at all costs. Maintain this pose for about 5 seconds.

Halasana Step 4: Lift your legs by another 30 degrees to form a 60 degree angle along with the ground. Stay in that position for another 5 seconds.

Halasana Step 5: Raise your legs by yet another 30 degrees to form the perfect right angle with the ground. At this point, you will find yourself in the Ardha Halasana, or the Half Plough pose.

Halasana Step 6: Press your palms against the ground harder and then begin lifting your body with their help, starting with your rear end and then your back.

Halasana Step 7: Bend your legs in the direction of your head. Here, you should aim for being able to touch the ground above your head with your toes. While attempting that, make sure that your body is in a straight position.

Halasana Step 8: Stretch your arms further and then place them behind your back when you are in the final position. This particular pose is the Halasana. Maintain this position for 6 to 8 breaths or anywhere between 30-60 seconds for best results. 

Halasana Step 9: Begin to retreat to normal position by first bringing your hips back to the ground, which should be gently followed by the rest of your lower body.

When To Practise Halasana

Halasana also known as the Plough Pose engages almost all of your major muscle groups, which need to be well stretched out before the student even thinks about attempting the position. Due to this reason, Yoga experts recommend that Halasana must be practised at the very end of the Yoga session in order to avoid any kind of unnecessary sprain or injury.

Halasana Contraindications

There are certain circumstances under which Halasana also known as the Plough Pose should either never be practised or the same should be done with the guidance and under the supervision of a trained Yoga instructor. They are as follows:

  • If you are pregnant or are menstruating, you should not do the Halasana at all since it will put a good amount of pressure on the gut as well as the pelvic area.
  • Avoid doing the Halasana if you have a weak back or have had a case of slipped disc.
  • Avoid the Halasana if you have weak leg muscles. Consider strengthening them before trying the position.
  • If you have inflamed thyroids or if any of your muscles that reside in the abdominal area are weak, stay away from Halasana.
  • If you have blood pressure-related problems, it would behove you to stay clear of Halasana.

Anatomy of Halasana a.k.a Plough Pose

It is perhaps only possible to appreciate the Halasana for the effects it has on the human body by understanding how it works, which can only be done through an anatomical exploration of the Halasana. You will find the same below:

When you begin to raise your feet in an angular fashion, you begin to go against gravity, which changes the course of the blood flow in your body. Simultaneously, you begin to put pressure on the muscles on the backside of your legs, such as your calves, hamstrings, adductor muscles and not to mention, your gluteus muscles, which are commonly known as the buttocks. As you begin to raise your leg higher as per the directions, the pressure only intensifies.

However, your legs are not the only parts of your body which are affected at this particular stage. You will begin to notice a similar kind of pressure on the anterior side of your legs. This sensation will begin to travel downwards from the tip of your toes to your abdominals, which should be the last body part to feel the pressure after your legs are high up in the air and at a 90 degree angle from the ground.

The real challenge associated with Halasana also known as the Plough Pose begins to arise when the student attempts to transition into the final pose, since that quest turns the amount of pressure that is already being felt by the body up a handful of notches, and this is where being even a moderately experienced Yogi can pay off as the amount of time you can stay in that position is directly proportional to the amount of flexibility your body has.

Frequently Asked Questions About Halasana

What is Plough pose in Sanskrit?

The name Halasana itself comes from Sanskrit which actually has two parts. While the first one, Hal means plough, Asana means pose or position. The reason why this position has been given such a name is that when in position, the shape of the student’s body begins to resemble that of a plough. Due to the meaning of the name, this position is more commonly known as the Plough pose in the West.

What are the techniques of Halasana?

Some of the alternative techniques for the Halasana are:

Ardha Halasana or the Half Plough Pose: in this easier version of the Halasana, the student never takes their legs to the top of their head. Instead, the student leaves them up in the air at the 90 degree angle. This position is usually practised by those Yogis who are either new to the pose or are getting back into it after a long break from it.

Half Plough Pose With Bolster Under The Back: In this half plough pose variation, the student keeps a bolster under their lower back for additional support.

Easy Plough Pose: In this iteration of the Halasana, the student attempt to touch his/her forehead with their knees, which they should bring close to the forehead by bending them as much as the student can. This variation is mainly done by those who also want to engage the muscles on the anterior side of their legs.

Halasana With Hands On Upper Back: This too is your standard Halasana, but with the difference of your palms resting on your upper back in order to give it support.

Halasana With Palms Touching Toes: This is your normal Halasana variation where the only difference is your hands touching the tip of your feet for additional intensity.

How Can One Get Better At Halasana?

Like in the case of every Yoga position, one can only get better at Halasana with time, practice and patience. In order to be more comfortable while doing the position, you can either even start off with a simpler variation of Halasana or try out the more challenging ones. If you ever feel the need to revisit the basics of Halasana, you can start with a step by step guide for the same that can be found on BalanceGurus.

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