Plow Pose



  • Stretches the shoulders and improves flexibility of your spine.
  • Calms your brain and nervous system and helps relieve stress and fatigue.
  • Improves digestions.
  • Massages and stimulates the thyroid gland.
  • Massages the abdominal organs and improves digestions.
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.
  • Flushes mucous from your lungs.
  • Pose

  • Cautions

  • Modifications

  • Neck or back problems
  • Heavy period of menstruation
  • High blood pressure
  • Eye or inner ear infection
  • Asthma
  • Pregnancy
  • Diarrhea
  • Halasana is considered an intermediate to advanced posture. If you are new to Yoga, we recommend you start with the beginner variations suggested at the end and then gradually work your way towards the full variation.
  • Beginners may find difficulty in lowering their legs and feet towards the floor. You can perform a less deep variation by lowering the feet onto a chair and then slowly extending the legs. You will need to experiment with the right distance of the chair.
  • To deepen the pose, press the arms into the mat shoulder width apart opposite direction to the legs. Lift more onto the top of the shoulders by drawing shoulderblades inwards, then respread the shoulder blades as the outer arms press into the mat.
  • Images
  • Step-by-step

hala = plow

  1. From Shoulder Stand, support your lower back with both palms as you slowly lower your legs and feet over your head towards the floor.
  2. Continue to draw your elbows toward each other and feel the back of your upper arms on your mat.  You should feel little or no weight on the lower neck and maintain ease and space in the mid and upper neck region. 
  3. Maintain your pelvis over your shoulders listening to how your neck and lower spine feel and move your chin away from your sternum as you soften the throat and facial muscles.
  4. If you feel tension in your legs or low back when lowering your legs and feet, bend your knees slightly.  If there is ease in your legs, spine and neck, let your toes touch the floor, and then move your torso more perpendicular to the floor. 
  5. Slowly extend your legs fully and allow the top thighs and tailbone to move toward the ceiling.
  6. The back of you neck and spine should never feel any pressure or tension.
  7. To avoid over stretching your neck, the tops of your shoulders should push down into the mat, and your shoulders should be able to shift slightly toward your ears to keep the back of your neck and throat free and soft.
  8. Beginners should stay in the pose for about 30 seconds and gradually increase the length of time within this pose until it is comfortable to stay for 5 minutes at a time.
  9. To exit, exhale and slowly bend your knees letting your thighs drape over your shoulders. 
  10. Contract your abdominal muscles to keep you pelvis over your shoulders.  Place your arms on your mat shoulder width apart, keeping your head on the ground and knees bent, slowly and carefully roll your back onto the ground.
  11. Once your hips rest on the mat, hug your knees into your chest and rock side to side and return to center and rest for several seconds.
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kregweiss, posted on September 22, 2011

hi amfriesen, here is great article to answer your question about plow pose (inverting) and menstruation: Namaste, Kreg MYO

amfriesen, posted on September 22, 2011

i've been warned by instructors to not do this when menstruating - not sure why

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