Halasana is an inverted yoga asana that involves lying on your back and placing your feet behind your head on the floor. It is a Sanskrit word that consists of ‘Hal’ means ‘plow’ and ‘Asana’ means ‘pose’.
The final position of Halasana looks like a plough, a farming instrument that is used by farmers to prepare the soil for the sowing of seeds, thus also known as “Plow Pose”.
It is a very effective pose for spinal health and provides a good impact on mental health. Halasana is a fairly advanced form of yoga asana that should be practiced after getting enough spinal flexibility.
Benefits of Halasana
- Stretches and tones the spine and back muscles.
- It also strengthens and opens up the shoulder, neck, and legs muscles.
- Stabilizes the brain and reduces stress and fatigue of the body.
- Eases muscles of the spine thus improving the posture.
- Provides flexibility to the spine, therefore good to gain height in growing age.
- Tones and strengthens the abdominal muscle.
- Stimulates the thyroid glands thus restoring and improving thyroid disorders.
- Strengthens the immune system.
- Massages and pressurizes the pancreas to secret the insulin which is beneficial in diabetes.
- Relaxes the muscles and ligaments of thighs and calves.
- Improves digestive functions thus relieving bloating and constipation.
- Increases blood circulation in the upper body.
- Improves nervous system function by pressurizing the nerve and neck region.
- Good for skin to remove pimples and dark circles, and improves eyesight.
- Beneficial for women during menopause.
Preparatory Pose before Halasana
The following exercise helps with preparing the required muscle sets for getting into Halasana.
- Start with tabletop position with both palms under your shoulders and knees under your hip. Now, while inhaling drop your hip down and curl your spine inward. Exhale and bend your spine upward in the opposite direction. Repeat this for a couple of steps.
- Sarvangasana: Lie flat on the mat with both palms beside your hip. Slowly raise your legs upward at 90 degrees with the upper torso. Now, with the support of your hands lift the hips up and bring the legs, abdominal, and chest in a straight line. Maintain this position as long as you are comfortable and return to the starting position. Do this 3 to 4 times.
Steps of Halasana
- Lie down on your back on a yoga mat and keep palms beside your hips.
- Inhale and raise your legs at 90 degrees towards the ceiling.
- Now, take support of your hands to lift hips up, and then while exhaling slowly bend your legs further over your head until your toes touch the floor behind you.
- Keep your legs straight and your shoulders at 90 degrees with the floor.
- Once you are comfortable at this position, release your hands and put them on the floor, and clasped the hands together to bring the elbows closer.
- Hold this position for 1 to 2 minutes and take regular breathing.
- To release, unclasp your hands and repositioned them alongside your body, exhale and slowly bring the hips and legs down to back in the original position.
- Remain in Shavasana for a few seconds.
Follow up Poses after Halasana
Precautions of Halasana
You should avoid Halasana in case you have following problems:
- Have cervical, neck, shoulder injury or lower back pain.
- High blood pressure or brain diseases.
- Suffering from an enlarged thyroid, spleen or liver or cervical problems.
- Frequent headaches.
- Suffering from heart issues.
- Diarrhea, hernia or sciatica.
- Pregnant women or during menstruation.
Tips for Beginners
- Because it is an advanced pose take experts’ help to learn.
- Practice little but often and gradually increase the duration.
- Do not strain your neck, starts slowly and gently.
- Use a folded blanket under your shoulders to support the neck.
- Always warm-up before practicing Halasana.
- Do not jerk your body while practicing Halasana.
- Put a pillow under your hips to comfortably lift your hips.
- Wear a comfortable dress.
- Focus on breathing patterns.
- End your session with relaxing poses such as Cobra Pose.