Ardha Halasana (Half Plough Pose)

Half Plough Pose on chair
Level: All levels

Hala = a plough.

As shown above, the pose is more restorative in tone. You can make it more active by having the hands on the back, as for Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1) and the toes on the chair.

Organizing the Pose

  1. Fold up a mat and stack up three blankets on top. Make the stack neat, with all the folded edges in a clean line. This will be going under the shoulders to act as a lift to protect the neck.
  2. Shoulder Stand preparation
    Lie back on the blanket so that the shoulders are on, but the head and neck are not. (See insert.)
  3. Lift the hips and swing the legs overhead to the chair.
  4. Thread the legs through the chair back and rest the thighs on the bolster. If the bolster is too high, or if you do not have a bolster, use folded blankets instead.
  5. Release the arms overhead in a comfortable position, such as the one shown.
  6. Release into the pose and hold it for three to five minutes.
  7. Roll down out of the pose and slide off until your shoulders are on the floor.
  8. Hold this position for a few moments, allowing the neck, shoulders and chest to release.

Practice Points

  • Release fully into the shape of the pose.
  • Soften and widen the back body: the backs of the thighs, the buttocks, the lower back, the back ribs, the shoulders.
  • Soften and widen the back of the neck, the chest and the throat.