Malasana - Garland Yoga Pose

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. This pose even helps tone the belly. The malasana yoga pose is also a pose for athletes to improve their core muscle strength and build inner body strength.

This pose is often placed in the middle of a yoga session as it is simpler than other complicated poses but complex enough to keep the body’s rhythm and still give a break. Though this pose is translated into English as Garland pose, many Sanskrit teachers disagree with the translation. Mal in Sanskrit can also mean waste matter and this pose should be practiced and read accordingly.

Steps :
1. Squat on the floor and keep your feet flat on the floor. Your heels should also be flat and facing forward on the floor. If you are unable to keep the heels completely flat, support it with a folded blanket.

2. Now separate your thighs gently. Separate them wide enough to lean your torso into it. Your torso should fit in snugly. Join your hands in a salutation as you press your elbows against your inner knees. This will press against your front torso and lengthen it further.

3. In the next step, press your inner thighs against your torso. Put your arms beyond the folded legs and press your shins into your armpits. Try clasping your ankles or your heels. This helps the torso lengthen and stretch further.

4. Hold this position for 30 seconds to begin with and slowly increase the duration. Then, inhale as you slowly stand up.

Precautions :
> If you suffer from any form of lower back or knee injury you should avoid this pose.

Beginner’s Tip :
As a beginner, you should not exert your body more than it is capable of. A beginner’s tip for garland pose includes using a prop like a folded blanket or bolster for support. You can also try using a chair instead of dong the asana on the floor. Sit on the chair with your legs perpendicular to your torso. Heels should be placed on the floor, slightly ahead of the knees. Then, lean ahead and position your torso between your knees, following the steps listed above. This can be done till you achieve flexibility and can do the yoga pose as intended.

Benefit To Body Part :
> 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.

Therapeutic Applications :
> 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.

Variations :
> One variation for the garland pose includes doing half the asana standing and slowly going into a squat.
> The pose is often used in asanas to relive wind too.


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