|picture credit: yoga.isport.com|
Last week I was assisting teacher training for the 200 hour class. Usually this requires facilitating discussions during the training, and often times it does require demonstrating poses while the teacher shows key points about anatomy or different assists for the pose.
We were working with finishing poses, which included shoulder stand and plow pose. I have to admit that both of these poses are my least favorite (which usually means that I should work with these poses more in my practice), which is why I volunteered to assist the finishing pose session. Part of me hoped that I'd learn something to allow me to appreciate these two poses or at least find a bit more ease in them.....and I did....
My recommendation.....use a blanket!!! Even though plow pose itself does not have a 'lot' of pressure on your cervical spine....if you do not have space between your cervical spine and the mat (i.e. slide your finger or pencil underneath the back of your neck..especially that bony part of your spine)....eventually and over continued 'plow-ing' you will likely hurt yourself or at a bare minimum walk around for a week with swollen vertebrae.
|picture credit: kline18.tripod.com|
Look at all of the important, TINY, bones in our neck ..... why risk not protecting them?
Plus, if you use a blanket, it will set you up perfectly to come into shoulder stand. You can use more than one blanket, ideally the blanket(s) should be stacked high enough so there is no compression of the cervical vertebrae in the neck and no tightness in the neck muscles.
|Picture credit: ihavenet.com|
Be safe with your practice!
Other resources for information on Halasana/Plow pose: