Hala means a plough, the shape of which this posture resembles. Its part of the Shoulderstand ( Savangasana ) sequence.
1. From the original form of shoulderstand ( see previous blog post ), lower the legs down over the head with the tops of the feet, toes pointing away.
2. Release the hands from the back support, interlace the fingers and stretch the arms.
3. Sit bones lift up, so that there is length from the lower rib to the hips & from pubic bone to navel.
4. The chin stays lifted, back of the head presses back slightly to maintain cervical curve in the spine.
5. Keep the fronts of the legs engaged all the way through the tops of the feet.
6. Outside of shoulders separating to keep the collarbones broad.
7. Legs and arms stretch in opposite directions which stretches the spine.
8. Gaze can be at either nose tip or at the navel.
9. When beginning and legs don’t touch the ground, keep the hands supporting the back, place either a cushion or chair to rest the feet on.
10. Stay in the pose for a good 10-15 breaths before raising the legs back up into the original form with hands supporting the back.
11. The coming blog post will look at the next variation, Karnapidasana ( Deaf Ear Pose )
The spine receives an extra supply of blood due to the forward bend which helps to relieve backache. The abdominal organs are rejuvenated due to contraction. People who suffer from stiff shoulders and elbows, lumbago & arthritis of the back, find relief in this posture.
The pose is good for people with a tendency for high blood pressure.
Halasana is a preparatory pose to Paschimottanasana ( sitting forward bend ) and as one improves in Halasana, the resulting mobility of the back will enable one to perform Paschimottanasana well. ( B.K.S Iyengar )