Mālāsana – Garland Pose – Getting back to tradition
As I travelled in Thailand and India, I noticed that it was very common to see people crouched in a squat position in their everyday activities. This tradition has incredible benefits ( tones the entire lower body, works the quadricep, hamstring, gluteal, and calf muscles of the legs, and strengthens the lower back and core.)
However, in Western culture, we rarely see someone in a full squat because of our habit of sitting on chairs.(desk, car, couch, ect.) Consequently, we started to lose suppleness and strength in the legs and flexibility in the calves, ankles, and outer hips.
Practicing Malasana will help you regain this primary and essential movement, and help tone and strengthen the legs. Squatting is also believed to help with digestion: As the pelvis descends, you encourage the downward flowing energy of apana vayu, which helps the body eliminate waste and clear the mind.
1. Stand with your feet hip distance apart and toes pointing slightly outward.
2. Bend your knees and lower your hips down toward the ground.
3. Bring your palms together at your heart center and firmly press your elbows against the inside of your knees.
4. Shift the weight into your heels and lengthen the crown of your head up towards the ceiling, keeping the back straight.
5. Hold the pose for five deep breaths,and slowly press firmly into the feet to straighten your legs to come back into a standing position.
If your heels don’t touch the ground, use a rolled up blanket, mat or block under the heals.
- Opens the hips.
- Improves balance.
- Stretches the ankles, groins and back
- Tones the belly.
- Improves memory and concentration.
- Improves digestion.
- Strengthens the lower back and core.
Recent or chronic injury to the back, knees or hips.