Lie flat on your back with your arms stretched by the side of you body. Keep your legs together and straight. Raise your legs slowly. Do not bend you knees. Do not raise your arms. Without bending your back, slowly lower your legs over you head till your toes touch the ground. Keep your thighs and legs straight. Breathe normally till the Asana is complete. Do not breathe through the mouth. Keep your eyes open. Make sure that your legs do not bend at the knees. Let your chin touch your throat. Hold this position for eight to ten seconds. Then slowly bring your legs down smoothly to the ground to the original position.
Ardha means half and Nava means boat or ship or vessel. This posture gives the body the shape of a boat and therefore the name.
- People who practice Halasana are always active and full of energy.
- It helps to tone up the liver, the kidneys, the digestive and the reproductive systems
- It is a very good preventive measure for spondylitis and slipped discs. But those who suffer from it should not practice it.
- It is useful in combating indigestion and constipation
- In particular types of diabetes, this Asana may be practiced to advantage
- It keeps the spine elastic and the spinal nerves healthy. It develops strong abdominal muscles.
- It promotes the circulation of blood around the spine by stretching the sinews and activating the blood vessels.
It is very useful in maintaining physical fitness as well as in Sadhana (the means of accomplishment) for self-realization.
- Halasana is useful in combating dyspepsia, especially when they are due to the degeneration of the abdominal muscles or the nervous mechanism of digestion
- The pose is also available for reducing the enlarged liver and spleen(a spongy organ of the body, close to the stomach), provided that the enlargement is not excessive
- For the purposes of physical culture it is desirable to repeat the practice rather than to maintain the different stages of the pose for a long time in the same attempt. This does not apply to spiritual culture, which requires the first stage to be kept up for a considerably longer time.
- It will take six turns of Halasana to cover the maximum of 4 minute prescribed for this pose.
In the beginning maintain the Asana for a few seconds only. During the Asana the hand are not allowed to change their extended and passive position. As usual the leg movements are accomplished smoothly and steadily. If the full curve necessary for reaching the final stage in Halasana cannot be secured at the very first attempt, it should be attained bit by bit everyday. For the purposes of physical culture, it is desirable to repeat the practice rather than to maintain the different stages of the pose for a long time in one and the same attempt. Halasana keeps the spinal column fully elastic. But people who find their spine stiffening should start this exercise slowly. No jerks should be given at any stage. Jerks may injure the Figgie muscles.