The Health Benefits of Malasana (Garland Pose)
Squatting used to be an ordinary posture for our ancestors. Through daily routine and normal practice, they were comfortable keeping their torso and upper legs hinged at a 160-degree angle. Nowadays, many of use sit in chairs, beds or cars all day long. We are most comfortable having our bodies set in a 90-degree angle.
So, we sit and we slouch; slowly, but surely, losing mobility in our hips and back. Unknowingly, our posture is fueling the fire for a wide range of health problems later in life. Fortunately, Malasana contradicts these common practices and keeps our joints well “oiled” for long-term use.
To practice Malasana with a licensed yoga practitioner, check out our yoga class schedules by location (Syracuse, Rochester).
Getting Into Garland Pose:
Begin by coming into a squat. Bring your feet as close together as you can comfortably get them, while still keeping them relatively parallel to each other. If possible, keep your heels on the floor; if not, support them with a folded mat or rolled up blanket. Move your thighs slightly wider than your torso and, as you exhale, lean forward so your torso fits snugly between them.
Try to relax your front ankles. Now, press your elbows against your inner knees, creating resistance, and bring your palms together in prayer at the center of your chest. This should help lengthen your torso. Remember to keep your body weight forward; it’s easier if you are practicing Malasana on a natural incline.
To deepen the pose, press your inner thighs against the sides of your torso. Extend your arms out and notch your shins into your armpits. Then, press your fingertips to the floor or clasp the back of your heels from outside your ankles. Your spine should be straight and your shoulders relaxed.
Hold posture for 30 seconds if you are just beginning to practice Malasana. Gradually work your way up to five minutes. To come out of the pose: inhale, straighten the knees, and come into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose).
Benefits of Garland Pose:
- Opens your hips and groin
- Stretches your ankles, lower hamstrings, back and neck
- Tones your abdominals
- Aids in digestion
- Strengthens your metabolism
- Keeps your pelvic and hip joints healthy
- Ideal for prenatal yoga