In sanskrit, Hala means “plough”.
- Lie on the back with the arms stretching by the side of the body, palms flat on the ground. Inhale as in complete yogi breathing. Exhale and slowly, raise the legs stretched vertically. Supporting oneself by the arms flat on the ground, gently lower the legs behind the head until the tips of the feet are touching the ground. Remember in this position for several seconds breathing regularly. This marks the end of the first stage. For the second stage, push the feet a little further behind the head and stay in that position for several secounds breathing normally. To pass on to the third stage, push the feet even further back. In doing so, fold the arm and place the hands under the back of neck. Hold this position for several seconds without forcing. Direct the attention to the spinal column while executing the three stages. To return to the starting position, place the arms along the body, gradually bring the feet up towards the head, passing through the first two stages the other round and raise the legs to a vertical position before dropping them gently onto the ground relaxing. Each stage exercises the spinal column differently.
Those who have a stiff spinal column should practise this Asana with great care, without ever straining, and avoiding all brusque movements. If practised regularly and persistently, this exercise will make even the stiffest spine flexible.
- This asana is extremely beneficial to the spinal column. The whole region receives an abundant supply of blood which revitalizes the nerves and muscles of the back. Exhaustion any fatigue quickly disappear.