Malasana – Yogi Squat or Garland Pose

(Mah-LAHS- uh-nuh)

Mala = garland, impurity
Asana = pose

Malasana is greater than the challenge of its mechanics alone; it helps us to return to a more functional way of life, restoring the physical and emotional virtues that have been lost to the modern seated position. As we counteract the rigidity and draw the base of our spine toward the ground we increase movement in the ankles, knees, pelvis, and spine; and we open the energetic juncture of our hips, limbering our motion and releasing our emotion. Practicing Malasana lubricates our mind and body, creating space by digesting whatever is holding you back, providing mobility and opportunity to move forward in life with grace and ease.

It is best to learn to come into Malasana from Tadasana (Mountain Pose):

  1. Heel-toe your feet wide apart, pointing your toes out so that your hips are open.
  2. Slowly bend the knees, releasing the base of your spine toward the ground, being careful to keep your knees in-line with your ankles.
  3. Squatting down as far as possible, use your elbows to push back against the inner knees, activating your inner thigh and lifting through the chest.
  4. Keep your hands at the heart space in Namaste with the back straight and drawing heals toward the floor.
  5. To come out of the pose, you could either (a) push down through the thighs and stand back up, (b) sit on the floor and then stand up, or (c) stretch the hands out on the floor in front of you to give you a bit of extra help in getting up.