Inner retention while raising the body from the ground to the final pose. Slow, deep and rhythmical in the final pose. Inner retention while returning to the starting position.
Advice to beginners
Beginners will probably have difficulty touching the toe’s to the floor behind the head in the final pose. Under no circumstances should one use force or sudden jerks in order to touch the floor, for this is the quickest way to strain the spine and be out of action for a week or so.
Let the feet suspend above the floor, keeping the legs straight. Regular practice over a period of weeks will make the back more supple, and the toes will gradually move nearer to the ground. The aim is to stretch the muscles progressively, not permanently by force. Regular practice of other forward bending asanas such as paschimottanasana3, yoga mudra4, janu sirshasana5, shashankasana6 and so forth will also help to loosen up the spine and lead to perfection of halasana.
Alternative starting position
The final pose of sarvangasana can also be used as the starting position for halasana. In this case, the legs are slowly lowered over the head from the vertical position in the manner already described.