Halasana is the third posture in the basic series. If you are comfortable, you may choose to go directly from Sarvangasana into this posture, with no relaxation in between. It is a continuation to Sarvangasana, offering a deep stretch to the upper back and neck muscles but also involving the entire back all the way down to the toes.
- Releases stress in neck and shoulder area
- Stretches the entire back of the body
- Increases blood supply to spinal nerves
- Tones the thyroid gland
- Improves digestion
- Neck injuries
- Slipped disc in the spine
- If you have asthma, only hold for a short time.
- If you suffer from kyphosis (exaggerated curvature of the upper spine), don’t push yourself too far into this posture.
1. Lay flat on the back, with feet together, arms by the sides and palms flat on the floor. Make sure there is space behind your head to bring your legs behind you.
2. Inhale, lift the legs and hips, supporting the lower back with both hands.
3. Bring the legs over the head until the spine is vertical, keep the legs straight and toes flexed.
4. If the toes touch the ground, lower the arms to the floor. If not, continue supporting the lower back.
5. Hold up to 1 minute.
6. To release, bring the arms to the floor and use them as brakes to roll out of the posture.
7. Relax in Savasana.
- Practicing the half plough beforehand will help warm up the back and legs making the full posture a little easier. To practice this bring only one leg behind the head at a time, alternating, this can be done several times on each side, then try the full posture.
- If the feet do not touch the ground or there is still considerable tension in the back, continue to support the lower back to allow the muscles to relax and to protect the neck from rolling side to side
- Keep the legs straight even if they do not touch the ground, this allows for proper practice of the posture.
- If your are very tight and the feet are high off the ground, you may place a chair behind you to rest the feet, allowing the back to relax.
- If you are just a few inches off the ground, you may separate the feet (keeping the legs straight) until the feet reach the floor, then as you relax slowly bring the feet together behind the head.