by Anthony DiTomaso
Halasana is a pose that can benefit most people. This posture, known commonly as “Plow,” is excellent for relieving back and shoulder tightness, relieving menopausal discomfort and stimulating the thyroid and parathyroid glands. People with neck or acute shoulder or spinal injuries should avoid attempting this pose.
Moving into the pose
- Start from lying on your back with your legs stretch straight up. The bottom of your feet should be pointing to the ceiling and your arms should be at your sides with your palms facing the floor.
- As you inhale press your palms and forearms into the floor. Swing your legs over your head as you push your weight onto your shoulders. Your head and neck should be straight and relaxed.
- Bring your toes to the floor while keeping your hips above and in line with your shoulders. Take several controlled breaths.
Scan your body from head to toe
Your head and neck are straight, and you should feel a mild stretch but no pain. Most of your weight should be on your upper shoulders, not your neck. If you feel any pain in your neck, move slowly and safely out of the pose.
Toes are touching the ground and your legs are straight; hips are directly over the shoulders. Move out of the pose by slowly bringing your legs back around while using your palms to control your movements. Keep your legs straight and move with the speed of your breath.
Anthony DiTomaso is an NCBTMB-certified massage therapist, Yoga Alliance-certified instructor, anatomy and physiology instructor, as well as professional fitness model. He is also an experienced instructor in personal training, nutrition education, energetic healing and Five Element and traditional Chinese medicine theory. DiTomaso has taught introductory massage courses and continuing education seminars for massage therapists and yogis throughout the U.S. He is the owner of Empowerment Unlimited Body Works Inc. and offers the DVD Yoga For Massage Therapists (www.yogaformassagetherapists.com).