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Halasana

5  Asana practiced while lying on the back 

 Halasana – (Plough Pose)

"Hala" means "Plough" in Sanskrit. This posture is called 'Halasana' because in the final position the body resembles the Indian plough. 

Sequence:
  1. Assume the Ardha Halasana posture without much support from the hands.
  2. Exhaling slowly, press the palms on the floor and raise your posterior, hips and lower back off the floor and, simultaneously, lower and move your legs right over your head without bending the knees until the toes touch the ground at the nearest point beyond your head.
  3. Inhale and breathe freely.
  4. Slide away the toes together straight along the floor, curving the spine to the maximum extent.
  5. Stabilize yourself in this position and complete the exhalation.
  6. Take a deep breath.
  7. Exhaling slowly, straighten the legs and slide away the toes together straight along the ground and away from the head till the lower parts of the thighs are brought opposite the forehead.
  8. Inhale and breathe normally.
  9. Press the chest against the chin and form a firm chin-lock.
  10. Lift your arms and move them slowly until they rest on the floor on either side of your head.
  11. Form a finger-lock and keep the clasped hands encircling the top of your head.
  12. Take a deep breath.
  13. Exhaling, slide the toes forward as far away from the head as possible.
  14. Keep the legs straight and together.
  15. Keep the knees stiff and the toes pressing the ground.
  16. Hold this position as long as comfortable, breathing freely.
  17. Restore the arms to their original position on the respective sides.
  18. Inhaling, bring back the legs together to the perpendicular position without bending the knees.
  19. Exhaling, bring down the legs until the heels rest on the floor.
  20. Breathe normally and relax completely in Savasana.  

Caution:
  1. Practice this asana on an empty stomach.
  2. This asana should be stopped if it causes pain continuously in the liver or spleen or exerts excessive pressure on the abdomen.
  3. Persons suffering from hernia, high blood pressure or heart ailments must not practice it.
  4. Women should not practice it during menstruation and after the third month of pregnancy.  

Benefits:
  1. Systematic practice of Halasana releases the tension in the back, neck and legs and helps to cure various kinds of rheumatism.
  2. It alleviates pain in the shoulders and the waist.
  3. It helps to eradicate belching, gastritis, flatulence and enteroptosis.
  4. It gives relief in cases of headache, bronchitis and asthma.
  5. Disorders of the uterus and ovaries and menstrual ailments are set right by the regular practice of this asana.
  6. Halasana stretches and exercises the posterior muscles of the entire body. The asana keeps the intercostal muscles healthy. The asana exerts alternate pressure on the heart muscle and thus strengthens the heart and improves circulation.
  7. The muscles at the back of the neck are stretched and relaxed.
  8. The alternate contraction, relaxation, stretching and the slow unwinding of the spinal column provide complete exercise for the different areas. If practiced slowly and smoothly, the entire spine becomes flexible and the spinal nerves, muscles and ligaments are toned up and fed with extra supply of arterial blood.
  9. This asana develops healthy thyroid and parathyroid.
  10. It will also keep the gonad glands healthy.
  11. Musicians and teachers benefit by performing this asana as the region of the throat is given a good massage. The throat gets cleared up after the practice and the neck muscles become strong.
  12. Persons desirous of reducing deposits of fat in the chest, lower abdomen, hips, thighs, legs and the backside may practice this asana regularly. It will help them to reduce weight and trim a flabby abdomen.
  13. It helps a person to maintain a correct standing posture and grow to his full stature.  

 

 
 

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