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Malasana (Garland Pose) Steps, Variations and Benefits

Malasana, Garland Pose, Yogi Squat Pose, Sitting Down Pose, Wide Squat Pose, Upavesasana, Squat Pose - Fitzabout

Malasana, also known as Garland Pose or Yogi Squat Pose, helps to stretch the waist, ankles and back while toning the abdomen.

Beginners may find this yoga pose helpful to sit on the edge of a chair instead of sitting. Your thighs and your upper body should form a 90-degree angle and the soles of the feet should be slightly ahead of your knees.

Information

Know as:Malasana, Garland Pose, Yogi Squat Pose, Sitting Down Pose, Wide Squat Pose, Upavesasana, Squat Pose
Sanskrit name:मालासन
IAST:Mālāsana
Pronunciation:ma-LAH-suh-nuh
Level:Beginner
Type:Seated pose, Hip opener
Total time:30 to 60 seconds
Drishti:Forward
Chakra:Swadisthana Chakra, Muladhara Chakra
Focus:Legs
Indications:Metabolism, digestion
Counterpose:Dandasana (Staff Pose)
Preparatory poses:Butterfly Pose, Wide-angle Seated Forward Bend Pose, Virasana
Follow-up poses:Intense Forward-bending Pose, Down Dog Pose, Cobra Pose
Contraindications:Low back injury, ankle injury, knee injury, hip injury, high blood pressure (broaden your stance), vertigo

Meaning + Origin

The Malasana is derived from the Sanskrit name, which is made up of two words — Mala + asana:

  1. Mala” = “garland”
  2. asana” = “pose or posture”

This is the real origin of the asana name, because it looks like pose located in ancient India to eliminate waste. Activates Swadisthana Chakra, which affects both the yogi’s sexuality and their feelings.

The Wide Squat Pose is the preparatory pose for arm balance pose, Crow Pose (Kakasana). The pose is also a grounding pose which stimulates your Veu, or stimulates the energy flowing downwards. By tapping this energy, practitioner is also holding back to her physical, spiritual or emotional issues.

The garlands of flowers, or beads are often used as ritual offerings and altar decorations in India. Mala beads, which is also called prayer beads, is traditionally used to assist in meditation. Hip-opener yoga is used to help in preparing the body for long-term focus, traditionally poses like Garland Pose. By practicing this yoga asana, you can helps to join the ancient rituals of yoga, which can take you deeply in your meditation practice.

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Benefits of Malasana (Garland Pose)

The wonderful physical and mental benefits of Malasana or Garland Pose are listed below:

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  1. Physical Benefits:
  2. Mental Benefits:
    • Cultivates focus
    • Reduces stress
    • Relieves anxiety
    • Relieves mild depression
    • Creates poise

Malasana Practice Guide

Garland Pose Gentle Variation

Yogi squat, Malasana (Garland Pose) Steps, Variations and Benefits - Fitzabout
Image: simonagyoga/Instagram

Instructions

  1. Begin squatting with the feet together and the heels on the ground.
  2. Separate the thighs until they are no more than the width of your shoulders. Exhale, tilting the torso forward until it is between your thighs.
  3. Push your elbows out from the inside of the knees and bring your hands together in a salutation seal. Press your knees into the elbows to help lengthen the front of your body.
  4. Press the inner thighs against your sides. Extend the arms, take them to your side and fold the front of the lower legs to your sides. Press the tips of the fingers into the ground.
  5. Stay in this posture for 30 to 60 seconds. Breathe in and release yourself by straightening your knees and leaning forward to stand.

Props and modifications

  • Chances are that the high heels can come during the coming in the pose. Therefore, to maintain balance, keep a fold blanket under your feet.
  • Apart from this, keeping a yoga block under your each foot makes this posture more comfortable.
  • In the beginning, you can perform this yoga pose against the wall for better support.
  • Going to the right posture is very important. So, consider taking the help of a partner or yoga teacher/instructor to come to this posture.
  • To speed up Malasana (Garland Pose), place one hand firmly on the floor, and raise another hand while rotating the torso.
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Malasana Variation I

Malasana I (Garland Pose I) Steps, Variations and Benefits - Fitzabout
Image: carlaf.yoga/Instagram

Instructions

  1. Squat on hunches with your feet together. Your soles and ankles should rest completely on the floor. Raise your seat off the floor and balance.
  2. Now widen your knees and move your torso forward.
  3. Exhale, wrap your arms around your bent legs and rest your palms on the floor.
  4. Take your hands one by one behind your back and clasp your fingers.
  5. Then stretch your back and neck up.
  6. Stay in this position for 30 to 60 seconds and keep your breathing normally.
  7. Now breath out, bend forward and rest your head on the floor. Stay in this position for 30 to 60 seconds here as well with normal breathing.
  8. Inhale, lift your head off the floor and return to Step-5.
  9. Release your hands and rest them on the floor.

Malasana Variation II

Malasana II (Garland Pose II) Steps Variations and Benefits - Fitzabout
Image: inspiremyyoga/Instagram

Instructions

  1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with the inner edges of your feet touching.
  2. Bring your arms parallel to the floor to help with balance. Keeping your feet together and flat on the ground, exhale and squat down while keeping your hips off the floor.
  3. Separate your knees and lean forward between them. Extend your arms forward until your upper arms touch the inner side of your knees and bring your hands into prayer position. Press your hands together and widen your elbows against the resistance of your knees. Press the inner sides of your feet down and press your knees into your upper arms. Root your tailbone down and stretch upward from the core of your pelvis to the crown of your head.
  4. Inhale, reach back with your hands, and hold onto your heels. While exhaling, bring the head to the ground. Keep your heels down on the floor. Spread your toes and press down firmly on the balls of your big toes. Continue to move your knees inward. Hold this pose for 30 to 60 seconds, then release.
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Precautions and contraindications

It is necessary to practice Malasana (Sitting Down Pose) on an empty stomach. Therefore, practice Garland Pose in the morning on an empty stomach or at least 4 hours after eating food.

Except for pregnant women, most of the cases listed below can be overcome with careful practice under the guidance of a experienced yoga teacher/instructor.

  • Don’t put all your weight on the toes or heels. It will not be good for the feet. Instead, spread your entire body weight evenly across your legs.
  • Descend slowly and gently into Garland Pose. Do not do this yoga pose in a hurry.
  • Do not do this yoga asana too much in one session. Practice the Garland Pose (Wide Squat Pose) slowly for a limited number of minutes.
  • The pose brings tremendous pressure on your knees and ankles, so a practitioner with knee or ankle injury should avoid Yogi Squat Pose.
  • Practitioner with a ligament tear in the knee or ankle should avoid Upavesasana.
  • The pose puts a lot of pressure on your abdominal region and should be avoided by pregnant women.
  • If there is pain in the lower back and it needs rest, then avoid this yoga pose completely.
  • The Wide Squat Pose should not be practiced by athletes as a relaxation posture immediately after running, as pressure on the ankles and calves can only cause further damage to the knee and the tissues around the ankles.

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Co-founder Anjali Kumari - FITZABOUT

Written by Anjali Kumari. She is a certified yoga instructor, Diploma in Make up, Nails and Beauty, Diploma in Nutrition, Food, Science and Menu Planning. Anjali is the destination of choice for the latest updates, tips and resources in beauty, health and wellness, and all topics that mean the most to today’s woman. Whether it’s advice from a trusted expert or a DIY tutorial, she has it all. She is passionate and obsessive about science and how it can be applied in daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine and proper nutrition is the key to achieving good health and beauty. When she is not working, she likes to spend quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and healthy choices for foods to promote good health.

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