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Apr 6th

Pose of the Month: Malasana – Garland Pose

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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.

The Sanskrit name for this pose, “Malasana” comes from two words:

“Mala” — meaning “garland”
“Asana” — meaning “pose”

Sometimes called, “Yogi Squat,” Malasana is a preparatory position for the arm balance, “Crow Pose” (Bakasana).

Take a seat into this pose. Strengthen your legs, your heart and your ability to tap into coming to a peaceful place despite how your body may feel here. It is within the pose, when you want to come out the most that you can find the deepest, most peaceful kind of pose.

Benefits (from yogajournal.com)

• Strengthens and brings flexibility to ankles
Increases mobility in the hips
Stretches back muscles
Soothes some causes of backache
Strengthens abdomens

Directions

1. Begin by standing at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your arms at your sides. Step your feet about as wide as your mat.

2. Bend your knees and lower your hips, coming into a squat. Separate your thighs so they are slightly wider than your torso, but keep your feet as close together as possible. If your heels lift, support them with a folded mat or blanket.

3. Lower your torso slightly forward and bring your upper arms to the inside of your knees. Press your elbows along the inside of your knees and bring your palms together in prayer position (Anjali Mudra). Work toward bringing your hands to your heart center and your forearms parallel to the floor.

4. Lift and lengthen your torso, keeping your spine straight and shoulders relaxed. Shift your weight slightly into your heels.

5. Hold for five breaths. To release, bring your fingertips to the floor. Then, slowly straighten your legs and come into Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana).

Variations

Add a twist by lowering your left hand and lifting your right as you twist open to your right. Repeat to your left side.

Take a bind by wrapping right arm around right calf, left reaches behind and clasp hands or use a strap. Repeat on your left side.

• Bring feet together, allow knees to open wide, grasp ankles and fold or extend palms out in front and fold

Modifications

Sit on a block or two
Use a rolled blanket under heels to support lifted feet

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