When you are unable to practice a full-fledged Plow Pose (Halasana) due to some reasons like strain and pain along your spine (from neck to lumbar), you can practice the intermediate or easy Plow Poses to get the benefits of it !
Image I : Easy Plow Pose
Image II : Easy Plow Pose
Image III : Easy Plow Pose
Plow Pose ::
Calms down the brain.
Invigorates the abdominal organs and the thyroid gland.
Stretches the shoulders and spine.
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.
Reduces stress and fatigue.
Therapeutic for backache, headache, infertility, insomnia, sinusitis
We have to analyse the Pros and Cons, i.e., the Problems and Benefits of Plow Pose (Halasana) to understand to what extent we can go. That is to say, we have to assess ourselves what forms (softer or full-fledged) of Plow Poses we can and should practice to get the results we look for ! One’s age, body weight have much to do with this. If you are having any problems or pain along the spine, you better refrain and consult Doctors.
Contraindications and Cautions :
Neck injury or any problem along the spine.
Asthma & high blood pressure: Practice Halasana with the legs supported on props.
Pregnancy: If you are experienced with this pose, you can continue to practice it late into pregnancy. But I would suggest you to consult Doctors or refrain from.
Benefits of Plow Pose(Halasana) :
It benefits the Thyroid gland, digestive system, diabetics etc.
Sofer forms of Plow Pose (Halasan) are easier and more comfortable than Full-Fledged Plow Pose and less riskier as well ! In the post-modern 21st century our lifestyle has become all the more sedentary. We spend most of our times sitting and bending forward in front of computers, Television and operating electronic gadgets. Our spine is always bent on a forward position . We are at a greater risk face diseases like spondylosis , neck and back pain. I would, therefore, suggest you to practice softer form of plow pose(Halasana).
In these circumstances, we will be inviting such problems like spondylosis more often than not,if we practice full-fledged Plow Pose. So, we should not practice such yoga like Full-Fledged Plow pose which can make us more vulnerable. We should, therefore, practice the Softer forms of Plow Pose which will be easier, more comfortable and enjoyable and less risk-prone !
Fig. 1: Softer and Easier Forms of Plow Poses.
Fig.2: Legs-up-the-Wall Pose. Legs-up-the-Wall Pose is a better way to practice Plow Pose comfortably !
Fig. 3 : One Softer Form of Plow Pose. (Courtesy:NourishDoc)
Fig. 4 : Another Softer Form of Plow Pose. (Courtesy:Yoga Vidya Gurukul)
You can stop in the softer forms positions as shown in Fig. 3 & 4 in case you have any problems. I don’t want you to face any problem in course of practicing this forward-bending pose ! We generally follow Forward-bending positions throughout the day in doing daily chores of activities. This is all the more relevant when we are doing our jobs sitting for a long time before the computers, office works, studious jobs etc. in a faster life as of nowadays. So you can restrict, withdraw yourself if you come under this category.
For practicing this Plow Pose (Halasana) I would advise the Beginners to practice Legs-Up-The-Wall first for a few days. When they get habituated with this they can very gradually proceed towards this plow pose partially before they can do it fully provided they have the age and experience. In today’s lifestyle, where sitting much time bending forward in front of the computers, bending forwards ( students, teachers, office-goers, intellectuals etc.) is quite natural. This should, therefore, be practised very cautiously, in softer versions specially by these people !
Alert for Plow Pose:
Should not Practice if you have problem and pain over your Neck Back and Lumbar areas.
Should not have High Blood Pressure
Don’t allow boys and girls to practice Plow pose before they are Twelve years old.
Go for Softer Version as you proceed towards higher age.
Should not be Overweight
Should have proper Warm-Up Session prior to this Plow Pose.
This should not be practiced by those having weak legs, hamstring muscles or calf muscles.
Pregnant women, women during menstruation should avoid Plow pose.
People with enlarged thyroid, spleen and liver should avoid this yoga pose as a lot of pressure is put at the lower abdomen during this pose (See Contraindications).
Image : Forms of Plow Pose (Halasana) This should be followed after shoulder stand. This Plow Pose should never be practiced singly. This is because of the fact that the body has to get properly conditioned before practicing this tough Plow Pose.
Fish Pose (Matsyasana) benefits discussion is to derive a complete idea, how it works to benefit us. This is also to find out the myths and realities related to it !
Fish Pose Benefits as Related to Glands :
Fish Pose ( Matsyasana ) benefits the parathyroid and pineal glands. The position of the Fish pose can clearly indicate that . It can also benefit the pituitary gland as the head is in downward position. More blood will flow therein refreshing it. Apart from this it can have a role in keeping the Thymus gland active for a longer time. This is true especially in the cases of adolescents and youths. The role of this thymus gland is very important in maintaining youth stage and immunity level in humans. This gland is very active in the children. s we progress from childhood to youth stage it remains active. After that it begins to be inactive. That is why the aged are more affected with COVID-19. This Fish Pose my have a role in keeping this gland alive for some more time. So they are not as such affected with Covid-19. They can act just as carriers.
Overall Fish Pose Benefits on the Total Spine :
Other than this Fish Pose has an overall beneficial effect over the whole body, particularly the spine. It gets a thorough rejuvenation in this reverse position.
Fish Pose is all the More Beneficial in Today’s Lifestyle :
In today’s sedentary lifestyle, we’re always sitting before the computer, reading and writing, watching TV etc. In this way we are always bending our spine in a forward position. That is why we are inviting a lot of problems to our spinal cord. In this scenario, Fish pose helps to relax and rejuvenate the spine from neck to lumbar region. There is complete beneficial effect on other parts of the body like the skull and brain, the eyeballs, the vocal cord etc. P.S.: You can keep folded cloth under your head if you feel any problem on your head.
I have personal experience when I received Back pain, rather Back Injury, in the lumbar region. Then I was pursuing M.Sc. degree, staying in the Hostel. I was rather kind of ‘Rash’ at that time, for being younger perhaps. Without having any Warm-Up session I started doing fifty push-ups at a time in the first round . I had the experience and expertise, but I did not practice push-ups(known popularly as ‘don’ in West Bengal, India for a long time, say one year or a bit more. I was sort of depressed as well due to not getting good job then.
One fine morning I just felt like going for push-ups to make my muscles more prominent rather instantly. Then it was winter season. I mde fifty push-ups at a time in the first round without any prior warm-up. I went for second or third round, but the first round might be responsible. It happened at noon, before lunch. That day I did not find any problem.
On the next day I just went to the adjoining garden where I found a long-handled spade lying around. The soil of the garden was moist and compact. I picked up the spade and struck the ground to lift up a big chunk of land. While giving pressure through my lower back portion to strike through and break and lift up a bigger chunk of land I felt pain in the lumbar portion . I did not want to believe it, so I repeated, but felt greater pain trying to repeat. It got more acute while bending down to be sure. I visited a known physician nearby who advised fifteen days bed rest initially and extended for another fifteen days duration.
I must mention here as well that I followed the classical pull-up which may be one vital factor of injury.
This Fish Pose is particularly very beneficial for those suffering from asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. For the neck, back and lumbar regions it is a superb yoga pose. It increases lungs capacity and induces deep breathing. It does also increase blood supply to the head, nourishing the pituitary and pineal glands.
Fish pose has a great role in enhancing the retention capacity (Kumbhak) of the lungs. It helps expand the rib-cage creating more space for the expansion of the lungs. In this way Fish pose helps correcting pigeon chest.
Fish Pose Myths and Realities :
Many great ascetics used this Fish pose to dip and float in water( Trailanga Swami). Is it for the fact that this Fish pose helps retaining oxygen in the lungs for a longer time? Modern medical can/cannot prove this for sure, but you my be sure that Fish Pose helps your lungs.
** This is upto you totally whether you would believe or not on the miraculous feats of Indian yogis, especially of the olden yogis!
Fish Pose ( Matsyasana ) benefits are being discussed elaborately so as to focus on some genuine points and issues !
This is practiced after Shoulder Stand . But you can practice it just as singly and independently without practicing shoulder stand pose before it. But if you practice shoulder stand you definitely need to practice Fish Pose after shoulder stand. otherwise you have just got to suffer ! It cures the body of all diseases.
But you should stay away from practicing Full-fledged shoulder stand if you suffer from neck pain, back pain, lumbar pain etc. In such cases you should go for reverse pose yoga practices like Fish pose, Bow pose, Circle pose, Back bend, Camel pose, etc. In short you should avoid forward bending poses/exercises. Instead, you should practice backward bending poses and that also very lightly and within your comfort one to stay fit and healthy.
Personal Experience ::
I have personal experience when I received Back pain, rather Back Injury, in the lumbar region. Then I was pursuing M.Sc. degree, staying in the Hostel. I was rather kind of ‘Rash’ at that time, for being younger perhaps. Without having any Warm-Up session I started doing fifty push-ups at a time in the first round . I had the experience and expertise, but I did not practice push-ups for a long time, say one year or a bit more. I was sort of depressed as well due to not getting good job then.
One fine morning I just felt like going for push-ups to make my muscles more prominent rather instantly. Then it was winter season. I might have also gone for second or third round, but the first round might be responsible. It happened at noon, before lunch. That day I did not find any problem. On the next day I just went to the adjoining garden where I found a long-handled spade lying around. The soil of the garden was moist and compact. I picked up the spade and struck the ground to lift up a big chunk of land. While giving pressure through my lower back portion to strike through and break and lift up a bigger chunk of land I felt pain in the lumbar portion . I did not want to believe it, so I repeated, but I felt greater pain as I tried to repeat. I felt clear pain which got more cute as I was bending down to be sure. I visited a known physician who advised fifteen days bed rest initially which was extended for another fifteen days duration.
It is also to be mentioned here that I followed the classical push-up which may be one vital factor of injury.
Benefits of Fish Pose (Matsyasana) are just countless ! These, in brief, are follows:
Relieves the Spine thoroughly from lumber to neck region
Brings the spine in reverse position from lumber to neck just opposite to the position while we work seated in chair
Expands the chest and the associated muscles enhancing the capacity of the lungs, heart fighting off related diseases like asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Relieves the throat, shoulder and abdominal organs
Stimulates the parathyroid gland
Sharpens the brain
One Form of Fish Pose
Don’t Cross your Comfort Level
Keep watch over your Breathing
Do relax with Corpse pose after each practice of Fish Pose
Fish Pose ( Thirty Seconds) > Corpse Pose ( Thirty Seconds)> Fish Pose ( Thirty Seconds)> Corpse Pose ( Thirty Seconds)> Fish Pose( Thirty Seconds) > Corpse Pose( Thirty Seconds) > Fish Pose ( Thirty Seconds)> Corpse Pose( Thirty Seconds) . Should be practiced this way in the primary stage. You can practice four times to the maximum in this way. As a beginner you can practice lesser times. https://amzn.to/2EOuVxQ
It is necessary to know how to practice Fish Pose. Lets see how one milder form of Fish Pose is being practiced. After you get some experience you can go for a full-fledged Fish Pose. Many pictures of milder forms of Fish Pose have been presented in the earlier posts.
Please don’t take any extra Strains in Practicing. Just Relax and Enjoy Practicing! Take more time. That will lead to more effective learning in a safe and secured process.
There are various forms or types of Fish Pose (Matsyasana), ( matsya meaning fish, asana meaning pose). If you’re not capable or comfortable with the full-fledged Fish Pose now, you can practice the easier forms or types. The reason is that you should not take undue strain for a “perfect” pose in the beginning. “Practice makes perfect”. Take your time and go ahead step by step with patience ! https://amzn.to/3mGYTVu