How to Practice Plow Pose–the Original Roll Over

plow poseJoseph Pilates borrowed several yoga poses when he created his sequence of movements. One of them was Plow pose, which is also known as Halasana. Plow pose is a wonderful yoga inversion that challenges the core and stretches the spine. Here’s how to safely practice Plow pose.

Plow Pose

Frequently, when people practice Plow pose, they like to have a folded blanket on the ground in line with the top of their shoulders. This provides support for their neck throughout the pose.

  1. Use ujjayi breathing.
  2. Begin on your back with your knees bent, heels in line with your SITs bones. Reach your arms by your sides, and broaden your collarbones.
  3. Allow your low back to reach toward the mat as you lift both legs toward the ceiling.
  4. Feel your abdominals reach toward your spine as you hollow out your belly.
  5. Inhale and, as you exhale, roll your legs over your head.
  6. Lift your hips away from your ribs. To make sure that you’re doing this, you can bend your elbows and reach your hands for your hips. This way, you’ll be able to feel if you start losing support and sinking. If you’re going to have your elbows bent, make sure that your collarbones are broad and your shoulders are down away from your ears.
  7. Reach your legs so that they are parallel to the floor. Work on rotating from your pelvis to find the length and stretch needed in your hamstrings.
  8. For many people, this parallel leg reach is sufficient challenge. Remember, you want to reach through your legs without letting your hips crumple toward your chest.
  9. For those who want to increase the challenge, allow your legs to lengthen until they reach the floor. You still need to keep your hips lifted away from your ribs, though.
  10. Hold here for several breaths. Inversions can be tricky, so if you feel like you need to come out, you should. Otherwise, work on holding this pose for 5-8 breaths.
  11. You can do this pose one or two times, but I wouldn’t practice it more than that in one yoga practice.

If you’re having troubles keeping an energetic reach through your legs, try connecting the soles of your feet to a wall after you roll over. This makes it easier to press through your feet and find an energetic connection.

Plow Pose Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

Which do you like best–practicing Plow pose on the floor or at the wall? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.