Plough Pose gives an intensive stretch to the entire spine, but mainly affects the neck and throat region.
How to come into the pose
- Lie down on your back, with your feet together and arms next to your body.
- Keeping your head and neck on the floor, breathe in as you lift both legs to 90 degrees.
- As you lift your hips up toward the ceiling, place your hands on your hips and walk your hands up toward your shoulder blades.
- As your legs start to lift up, guide them toward your head. Slowly place your feet on the floor behind your head. Keep your knees straight, feet together, and feet flexed.
- If your toes can reach the floor comfortably, you can interlock your hands on the floor behind your back.
- Keeping your knees straight, gently push your heels away and breathe evenly.
Coming out of the pose
Placing your hands on the floor and using them as levers, bend your knees slightly and slowly roll the back on the floor.
Contraindications & cautions
- Cardiovascular issues
- Neck issues
- Shoulder issues
- Recent surgery or inflammation in your head region (for example ears, eyes, nose, etc.),
- Arthritis and osteoporosis
- Brain injuries
- Lower-back and spinal issues (e.g. chronic pain, herniated disc, sciatica, SI-joint instability)
- Acute migraine or headache
- Asthma or other breathing disorders: hold only for short durations. Skip altogether if it causes too much discomfort, nausea, or shortness of breath.
Regular practice in a steady and comfortable manner within a balanced yoga asana program
- stimulates the Throat Chakra and therefore stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands, improving their overall functioning;
- slows down heart rate and lowers blood pressure, therefore giving the heart a rest;
- activates the parasympathetic nervous system, ensuring the proper function of all internal processes such as digestion, elimination, and so on;
- improves exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs by making active use of the lower part of the lungs;
- improves digestion and cures constipation as it releases gravitational compression on the colon;
- strengthens deep core muscles;
- increases upper body and arm strength;
- releases tension in the entire spine, especially the lower back and cervical region;
- stretches the hamstrings and glutes;
- creates flexibility in shoulder joints; and
- massages all visceral organs by compression, and upon release of the pose floods organs with fresh, nutrient-rich blood.