Definition - What does Plow Pose mean?
Plow pose is an inverted yoga posture that stretches the spine, legs and shoulders. It is traditionally practiced near the end of a yoga class or sequence as it calms the nervous system and helps to prepare the body for final relaxation.
Start by lying down on the back with legs extended and arms at the sides with palms facing down. Using the abdominal muscles, the legs and hips are lifted up towards the ceiling, and the torso is brought perpendicular to the floor. Toes are then slowly lowered down to the floor behind the head with legs fully extended, if possible. Another option is straightening the legs fully after the toes reach the floor. If the toes cannot touch the floor yet, the lower back should be supported with the hands.
Plow pose may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, halasana.
Yogapedia explains Plow Pose
Plow pose opens the neck, shoulders and back. It provides a very strong opening for the throat and heart chakras, though in a different way than these areas are typically energized. Usually, the front of the body is opened for these chakras; but in plow pose, the throat and heart are protected in the front and opened in the back.
Additionally, this pose compresses the abdomen, and massages and tones the digestive organs. This improves digestion and aids in detoxification. Regular practice of this pose rejuvenates the nervous system, improves concentration and relieves stress.
When first attempting plow pose, it might not be possible to reach the floor with the toes. In that case, it is recommended to support the lower back with the hands. People with very tight shoulders can support them by placing a folded blanket underneath the upper back.
This pose should not be practiced by those with glaucoma or other eye problems, or serious back or neck injuries.