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Plow Pose stretches and increases the flexibility of your spine, while providing an intense stretch for your neck. This pose also stretches the entire back of your body and stimulates the nerves in your spine. You may also want to perform this pose to calm, focus and rejuvenate your mind.

As you perform Plow Pose, make sure you do not turn your head to the side. Your head should remain in a neutral position. If you want to stretch your inner thighs in this pose, you can perform Plow Pose with your legs spread as wide as is comfortable for you. After performing Plow Pose, you should perform a counter pose that stretches your spine in the opposite direction, such as Fish Pose.

Use caution performing Plow Pose if you have neck or shoulder problems, high or low blood pressure or heart problems. You should avoid this pose if you are menstruating or if you have eye problems, such as glaucoma.

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Begin in Shoulderstand. For information on Shoulderstand, see page 222.

Exhale as you slowly lower your feet toward the floor behind your head.

Your legs should be straight, but your knees should not be locked.

Make sure you keep your torso straight and long.

Flex your feet and place your toes on the floor behind your head.

Press your heels away from your body to lengthen your legs.

Is there an exercise I can perform to prepare for Plow Pose?

Begin in Shoulderstand and then exhale as you lower your right leg toward the floor behind your head. Then inhale as you raise your right leg. Repeat this exercise for your left leg. Then exhale as you lower both legs at the same time to move into the pose.

How can I stretch my arms and shoulders in Plow Pose?

Once your arms and hands are on the floor, interlace your fingers and stretch out through your hands. You can also try stretching your arms above your head to reach for your toes. If possible, clasp your toes in your hands.

I have difficulty performing Shoulderstand. Is there another way to move into Plow Pose?

Yes. You can gently move from Spinal Rocking into Plow Pose. For information on Spinal Rocking, see page 50.


Place your arms on the floor, palms facing down.

Extend through your fingertips to lengthen your arms.

Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Then place your hands on your lower back and return to Shoulderstand.

If you cannot place your toes on the floor behind your head, you should keep your hands on your lower back to support your body.

Perform steps 1 and 2 on page 224 and then bend your elbows and place your hands on your lower back to support your body.

Chapter 13

Reclined poses are usually less physically demanding than other poses. Performing certain reclined poses can improve your circulation and stretch your legs, which makes these poses especially useful as warm-up poses for forward bends that involve intense leg stretches. You may also find reclined poses relaxing as they help to relieve tension in your mind and body. This chapter takes you through several reclined poses you can incorporate into your yoga practice.

Reclined oses

In this Chapter...

Reclined Leg Stretch Reclined Head to Knee Pose

Raised Knee to Chest Pose Reclined Thigh-Over-Thigh Twist Knee Down Twist Reclined Bound Angle Pose

reclined, . . leg stretch(supta

Reclined Leg Stretch is an excellent pose for stretching your hips, groin, hamstrings, calves and ankles. This pose can also strengthen your legs, relieve tension in your lower back and improve the circulation in your legs. You may find this pose useful to warm up your hamstrings before performing forward bends.

If you are a beginner, you can loop a yoga strap around your foot to perform Reclined Leg Stretch. If you do not have a yoga strap, you can use any cloth strap, such as a bathrobe belt. Make sure you do not hold

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