This is not a pose for newbies! However many people find it a restful pose and can happily stay in it for up to five minutes!
From Shoulderstand, exhale and bend from the hip joints to slowly lower your toes to the floor above and beyond your head. As much as possible, keep your torso perpendicular to the floor and your legs fully extended.
With your toes on the floor, lift your top thighs and tailbone toward the ceiling and draw your inner groins deep into the pelvis. Imagine that your torso is hanging from the height of your groins. Continue to draw your chin away from your sternum and soften your throat.
You can continue to press your hands against the back torso, pushing the back up toward the ceiling as you press the backs of the upper arms down, onto your support. Or you can release your hands away from your back and stretch the arms out behind you on the floor, opposite the legs. Clasp the hands and press the arms actively down on the support as you lift the thighs toward the ceiling.
To exit the pose bring your hands onto your back again, lift back into Sarvangasana with an exhalation, then roll down onto your back, or simply roll out of the pose on an exhalation.
Contraindications and Cautions
- Neck injury
- Asthma & high blood pressure: Practice Halasana with the legs supported on props.
- Pregnancy: If you are experienced with this pose, you can continue to practice it late into pregnancy. However, don’t take up the practice of Halasana after you become pregnant.
- With the feet on the floor, this pose is considered to be intermediate to advanced. It is not advisable to perform the pose in this way without sufficient prior experience or unless you have the supervision of an experienced instructor.
In this pose there is a tendency to overstretch the neck by pulling the shoulders too far away from the ears. While the tops of the shoulders should push down into the support, they should be lifted slightly toward the ears to keep the back of the neck and throat soft. Open the sternum by firming the shoulder blades against the back. It may help to have blanket under your shoulders. There should be no discomfort in the neck, if there is come out of the pose.
- Calms the brain
- Stimulates the abdominal organs and the thyroid gland
- Stretches the shoulders and spine
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
- Reduces stress and fatigue
- Therapeutic for backache, headache, infertility, insomnia, sinusitis