In this inverted asana, we experience a state of tension that can be absolutely unbearable when we first start out as beginners or even after many years, when in the opening moments of entering this pose, we sense that constriction in the chest and breath. The name says it all: the plough, with our body taking on the shape of that piece of equipment used either on farms to till the soil or on our streets to remove the snow.
After a plough has churned through the soil or swept down our road, our space is transformed. It's a loud, tense, rumbling affair, ploughing, but the results are expansion and transformation. There is a relief and release once it's barreled past us, and done its job. We can get down the road again, a new seed can take root.
There is perhaps no other pose in which to experience this rolling, churning sense of restriction followed by release. If you can bear observing your breath through the tension and wait for the calmness, then you'll experience this sense of pure relief, your midsection opening up as smoothly as a flower blossom. It's a pretty fun way to experience the spiritual truth that rewards come once you pass the test. It brings this truth alive in an immediate, real, everyday way. You can vary the pose by spreading feet apart but try to maintain uprightness through the belly-button and solar plexus region. When coming out of it, you can air-dance your way down and end up in bridge pose, which we'll look at next.