This is an excellent pose for the morning, since it promotes alertness and a flexible spine – the spine can become somewhat compressed during sleep, which can cause tightness or stiffness in the back.
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Getting Into Plow Pose:
Begin in Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand). Hesitate and breathe deeply for a few seconds. Then, bend from your hip joints, slowly lowering your toes to the floor above your head. If you cannot touch the floor with your toes, practice this pose near a wall so that your feet will reach the wall when you bring your legs over head.
Try and keep your legs fully extended, toes perpendicular to the floor. Your feet should stay together throughout Halasana. Interlace your fingers behind your back and straighten your arms away from your legs, rolling the shoulders into place one at a time.
Press the arms actively down into the floor as you draw your tailbone and the tops of your thighs towards the sky. Your hips should be aligned over your shoulders. Continue to draw your chin away from your chest, softening the throat. Breathe steady and deep.
Hold posture for 30 seconds to 5 minutes, depending on your skill. To release, lift your legs back into Salamba Sarvangasana and roll your body out of the pose as you exhale – one vertebra at a time, keeping your legs straight and feet together.
Benefits of Plow Pose:
– Stretches all muscles and ligament in your calves and thighs, resulting in greater leg flexibility
– Therapeutic for leg cramps
– Stimulates your thyroid, parathyroid, throat, lungs and abdominal organs
– Helps relieve gas and upper/lower back pain or discomfort
– Promotes good digestion
– Stretches your shoulders and spine
– Therapeutic for menopause, infertility, insomnia, headache and sinusitis
– Relieves stress and fatigue