Today, I’m thrilled and thankful that I did my first plough pose. I’ve been working on uninterrupted days of yoga since August, and am now up to day 177. Still, I have a long way to go before becoming really flexible. Each day is a new stretch into and out of pain. I’ve been incorporating the shoulder stand in my routine for a few months now. Several times I tried to slip into the plough from there, but never made my feet touch the ground. Today was touch down.
Also known as Hala-asana (Plow or Plough Pose) The Sanskrit word Hala means plow, as in a traditional plow that is drawn by a horse or oxen. When performing this pose the body resembles a plow.
The benefits of this posture are numerous. All of the muscles and ligaments in the calves and thighs are stretched resulting in greater leg flexibility. People suffering from leg cramps will find relief from practice of this pose.
Contraction of the abdominal area during this pose compresses blood out of the area releasing toxins. The pose is good for relieving gas and stimulating the digestive system. Similar effects take place as the neck and chest area is compressed effecting the throat, thyroid, parathyroid and lungs. Upper and lower back pain or discomfort is relieved due to the forward stretching of the spine.
I am always intrigued by the mystical benefits of yoga poses. Besides helping the digestive organs and developing the abdominal muscles, this pose works on the naval chakra. It stimulates the heart chakra as well as improving the respiratory, circulatory and immune systems. While toning the thyroid and para-thyroid glands it helps to activate the throat chakra.
It took me awhile to ease into this pose. I would definitely recommend this only be done under the instruction of a qualified yoga teacher.