The Plough follows from the Shoulderstand and gives similar but more intense benefits.
You can prepare by lowering one foot at a time behind the head towards the ground.
Coming into the Plough
- Beginning position is the Shoulderstand
- Drop both feet to the ground behind the head.
- If the toes are touching the floor, bring the hands flat on the floor behind the back, palms on the floor, hands parallel to each other. Those who are not able to bring the toes to the floor should keep the hands on the back to avoid straining the back muscles.
Keep the knees straight; point the toes in towards the head, stretch the heels toward the floor. Hold the Plough for 30 seconds, increasing gradually to 2 minutes.
To come out of the position:
Beginners: Bring the hands flat on the floor behind the back. Raise the feet up from the floor. Using the hands as breaks, slowly roll out of the position. Try to lower each vertebra to the ground separately keeping the head on the ground. When you have come down completely, relax for a moment and then come up into the Bridge.
Intermediate/advanced: Bend both knees and come over into the Bridge.
Main benefits of the Plough
- It is a forward bending position which stretches the entire spine, but the main focus is on the cervical region.
- Brings increased flexibility to the neck and spine. Spinal nerves are nourished
- Tension is released from the cervical region
- Muscles of back, shoulders and arms are strengthened
- Internal organs are massaged, indigestion and constipation are relieved
- Relieves insomnia
- Prana (energy) is concentrated in the neck/upper spinal region