How to Do Plow Pose in Yoga (Guide to Halasana)

Plow pose is a deep stretch for the spine and neck that requires a strong connection to your breath and body. Not to mention lots of mobility in the hamstrings!

Ensure that you warm up the neck, shoulders, spine, and hamstrings before moving into plow pose, and don’t push yourself more than is comfortable.

“Plow pose is a wonderful asana for connecting to and engaging your back body,” says Yoga Answered contributor Keira Shepherd. “Take the necessary steps to protect your spine and move slowly into this pose.”

Plow Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Halasana
Pose Type: Inversion Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Intermediate pose
Targets: Hamstrings, quads, back, core, hips, neck, pelvis, glutes
Benefits: This pose engages and works the entire back body while improving flexibility in the neck, spine, and shoulders.
Preparatory Poses: Shoulder stand, easy plow pose

How to Do Plow Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Start by lying on your back on your mat.
  2. Lift your feet up to the sky and reach for your toes to stretch your shoulders.
  3. Reach your neck towards your knees to prepare your neck for the deep stretch of plow pose.
  4. Relax your neck and shoulders down to the mat.
  5. Bring your knees towards your forehead then gently bring your toes to the ground behind your head.
  6. Place your hands on your lower back to support your spine.
  7. Lift your legs away from the floor as you straighten your knees, keeping your toes on the ground.
  8. Get comfortable here by taking a few deep breaths into your back.
  9. When you’re ready, reach your arms away from your shoulders by clasping your hands together and laying your arms on the mat.

Beginner’s Tip

Place a folded blanket or towel beneath the neck and shoulders to reduce the stretch in the neck and make this pose more comfortable.

You might also like to practice plow pose by bringing your toes to a wall behind you instead of the floor. This will improve your flexibility to help you move into plow pose while also allowing you to relax into the asana.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you have spine pain, issues, or have undergone surgery.
  • Pregnant women should avoid practicing plow pose
  • Avoid if you suffer from high blood pressure or migraines.

Variation

Place your hands on your lower back in plow pose to support your spine. Another option is to bend your knees and bring them to rest on your forehead or a block as opposed to stretching your legs out long.

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