Malasana or the garland pose is a squatting pose designed to improve the digestive system. The malasana garland pose is also beneficial to the thighs and helps strengthen the muscles. Sitting for long periods can shorten and tighten the inner thighs, groin, and hip flexors — which can cause poor posture and back pain. Garland Pose is a hip-opening yoga posture that helps to lengthen and open the hips, creating more mobility for all of your daily activities.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Do not practice this pose if you have a recent or chronic low back or knee injury. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities.
How To Do The Malasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
- Begin by squatting. As you do this, keep your feet close to each other, with your heels on the floor or supported on the ground.
- Spread out your thighs, placing them slightly wider than your torso.
- Exhale and lean forward such that your torso fits snugly in between your thighs.
- Bring your palms in the Anjali Mudra, and press your elbows against the inner thighs. Doing this will help you extend the front part of your torso.
- Press the inner thighs against the side of the torso. Then, stretch your arms out, and swing them across such that your shins fit into the armpits. Hold your ankles.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds. Inhale and release.
Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:
- Avoid jerking, pulling, pushing, or forcing any movement in this pose. Let your movements be slow and smooth.
- Do not bounce your hips up and down. Doing so can overstrain your knees and hip flexors.
- Keep shifting your weight back into your heels.
- Lengthen the front of your torso and keep your spine long, not rounded.
If squatting is difficult, sit on the front edge of a chair seat, thighs forming a right angle to your torso, heels on the floor slightly ahead of your knees. Lean your torso forward between the thighs.
Modifications & Variations
If you’d like to deepen or lighten the pose, try these simple changes to find a variation that works best for you:
- If your heels don’t come to the floor, place a folded, firm blanket or rolled yoga mat underneath them.
- Experienced students may step their feet completely together.
- Women who are pregnant and those who need help balancing have a few options:
- Rest both hands on the back of a chair.
- Rest one hand along a wall to the side of the body.
- Do the pose with your back against a wall.
- More experienced students can drape the torso between the legs:
- Reach both arms forward, then bend the elbows and bring the shins into the armpits.
- Extend the arms behind your body and clasp the heels.
- Drop the forehead to the mat.
Benefits Of The Malasana
- The garland pose can benefit the body in many different ways including being good for the legs and tummy.
- It strengthens, the legs, ankles, knees, thighs along with strengthening the spine and stretching the torso.
- It helps the groin and also improves the digestive tract, helping the body expel waste matter efficiently.
- This pose is often recommended to pregnant women.
- In various practices of yoga, the garland pose is also a recommended pose for pregnant women as it helps their bodies prepare for labor.
- The pose is known to loosen the hip joint and has been known to bring on labor. The pose is also a good pose to alleviate constipation.
Tight hips can throw your whole body out of whack, but with regular stretching, they will loosen and become more flexible! Practice hip-opening yoga poses like Malasana every day, and be sure to use whatever variations and modifications you need to feel secure. With time, your entire body’s range of motion will improve.