Definition - What does Halasana mean?

Halasana is a folded inversion, traditionally considered a finishing pose that may be practiced at the end of a yoga session. As a finishing pose, it helps prepare the body for relaxation, pranayama and meditation.

To begin, lie down on the ground with arms at the sides and palms pressing down. Lift the legs up to a vertical position. Then lift the hips and spine from the floor, bringing the legs behind the head. The toes are then placed on the floor and the legs are gently straightened.

The name comes from the Sanskrit hala meaning "plow," and asana, meaning "pose." Therefore, halasana is also referred to as plow pose in English.

Yogapedia explains Halasana

As with many yoga poses, the name comes from the basic shape of this pose, which resembles the traditional plows found in Tibetan and Indian culture. In the Sankrit poetic text, "Ramayana," King Janaka finds a beautiful young girl as she is plowing the earth. He takes the child and names her Sita. Sita grows up into a beautiful woman and eventually becomes a wife of Rama's. This story symbolizes the plow as being a tool for finding hidden treasures.

Halasana provides very strong opening benefits for the throat and heart chakras. This is different from the usual opening of these chakras, as in halasana, unlike in other heart-opening poses, they are protected in the front and opened at the back.

It is common to enter this pose from salamba sarvangasana. After finishing this asana, a counter pose in a form of a backward bending asana should follow; for example, fish pose.

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