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Strike a Yoga Pose: Plow

If you work all day at a desk, you're not doing your neck, shoulders, or lower back any favors. That's why I love doing poses that gently stretch these much forgotten about areas.

Plow looks really bizarre at first glance, but take it from me - it feels amazing. Not only does it give you an awesome stretch for the back of your neck, but it also stretches all the way from the top of your spine to your hamstrings.

Sanskrit Name: Halasana
English Translation: Plow

Want to hear how to get into this pose? Then

  • Begin lying flat on your back on a mat or rug. Place your arms by your sides, palms facing down.
  • Press firmly into your palms, bend your knees, and bring both legs over your head. If you can, straighten your knees and touch your toes to the ground.
  • Interlace your fingers and then gently rock your weight side to side a little so you can bring your shoulder blades closer together. Keep your head and neck still.
  • Think about bringing your hips over your shoulders, and lengthening your spine as much as possible. If it's difficult for you to take deep breaths (bigger breasted women may have this problem), just shift your hips away from your head a few inches.
  • Stay here for five or more breaths, and then you can slowly bend your knees and shift your hips down to the floor, hugging your knees into your chest. Stay here for a minute or so, letting your neck and spine adjust.
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fernie123 fernie123 5 years
gosh, i don't know what am i doing wrong here, but my middle back dies afterwards and i don't feel any relaxation during that.
veronicaraye veronicaraye 9 years
thats looks like a good pain.
Fitness Fitness 9 years
arihm - the trick is to actively lift your hips up as high as you can and keep elongating your spine. That should help relieve tension in your neck. You also don't need to bring your hips all the way over your shoulders. You can shift your hips back, away from your head and that should help too.
arihm arihm 9 years
The plow always seems to compress my head and neck, maybe I'm doing it wrong.
Amanda-La Amanda-La 9 years
I work in an office and I just snuck into the conference room to try this and I was able to do it, this is the first one i've been able to do, it feels great afterwards.
i-am-elle i-am-elle 9 years
That looks painful, but the back of my neck is always stressed & in pain. I need to try that!
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