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How to Do the Plow Pose

The Plow Pose is essentially a Noble Pose turned on its head—or rather, turned on your head.

Instructions

  • : You may also want to consult a qualified yoga instructor to ensure that you are correctly positioned the first few times you try this pose.
  • TIP: Warm up your neck and shoulders by doing other yoga poses first, like the Cat Cow, the Cobra, and the Bridge Poses.
  • Step 1: Lie back & bring knees to chest Lie down on your back and bring your knees to your chest, leaving your hands on the floor beside your hips with your elbows tucked close at your sides.
  • TIP: For extra neck protection, place a folded blanket or two on your mat. Lie down with your shoulders on this elevated platform so your head rests on the mat two to four inches lower than your shoulders.
  • Step 2: Lift hips off floor Press your hands into the ground to help you lift your hips up off the floor with your knees still bent at your chest.
  • Step 3: Position hands Move your hands to your lower back near your hips so your bent elbows are as close together as possible and your upper arms are on the mat.
  • Step 4: Walk hands down back Walk your hands down your back slowly so your torso rises higher and more upright until you are resting on your shoulders. The base of your neck should be lifted and the back of your head resting on the ground, so there is no stress on the neck.
  • Step 5: Straighten knees Straighten your knees, creating a straight line from your heels down through your shoulders.
  • Step 6: Hold pose Hold this pose for a few breaths.
  • Step 7: Lower feet to floor Lower your feet to the floor behind your head so your legs are straight and your toes are on the mat pointing toward your head.
  • TIP: If you cannot bring your toes to the floor, lower them as far as possible or bend your knees, keeping your hands on your lower back to support yourself.
  • Step 8: Clasp hands Clasp your hands behind your back and pull your shoulders underneath themselves to ensure that your neck is elevated.
  • TIP: To vary the pose, reach your hands to your feet and loop your index and middle fingers around your big toes.
  • Step 9: Breathe Breathe several relaxed and even breaths, but don't try to breathe deeply—you're too compressed to do so.
  • Step 10: Release pose Release the pose by placing your hands flat on the floor behind your back and roll your spine down slowly, one vertebrae at a time. Good job, you've been a model plow.
  • TIP: Perform a posture like the Locust, Fish, Cobra, or Bridge pose to ease your neck and back.
  • FACT: A plow is referred to in the most ancient Hindu text—the Rigveda—dating to the 2nd millennium B.C.

You Will Need

  • Comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and moving
  • A calm place where you won't be distracted or disturbed
  • A yoga mat or folded blanket
  • An extra blanket or two

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