Malasana or garland pose
The name Malasana comes from ‘mala’, which in Sanskrit means ‘garland’. This position is suitable to favor an intense opening of the hips.
After several hours sitting at a computer, this asana can be a relief. It can also relieve lower back pain that is often caused by overly stiff hips.
Opening the hips certainly benefits you physically, but it also has a very important psychological effect: all mammals, when we are afraid or feel threatened by something, we tend to close in on ourselves, to adopt a fetal position, closing the chest and the hips. The mind associates these movements with danger. And it also works the other way around, when we open our chests and hips, we are sending the message to our minds that there is no reason to be afraid, there is no real threat. So hip-opening asanas, like malasana, are a powerful instrument to free ourselves from what is left over, to let go of our fears.
How to practice Malasana
- Spread your legs slightly more than hip-width apart, feet turned slightly outward, bend your knees, and lower yourself into a squat.
- Spread your knees so they are above your toes. Heels placed on the ground. If the heels do not reach, you can place a rolled blanket under them.
- Place hands in Namaskar (prayer) in the center of the chest, and with the elbows gently press the knees outward, opening the hips and expanding the thorax.
- Move shoulders away from the ears and lengthen the spine. It grows. Deep, gentle breathing.
Other benefits of the garland pose
- It is considered a restorative posture, due to its therapeutic benefits: it makes the Achilles tendon and the tibialis muscle more flexible, relaxes and tones the hip muscles, stretches the groin, strengthens the back and abdomen.
- Activation of the foot muscles stabilizes the plantar arches.
- It offers us the opportunity to lengthen the three curves of the spine. This normally activates all three bandhas.
- The deep support in the arches of the feet energetically introduces the lifting action of the pelvic floor and lower abdominal muscles.
- Promotes intestinal transit and relieves constipation.
- Relieves menstrual cramps.
- Relax the lower back and reduce pain.
Finally, we recommend doing this position with an extra wide mat to ensure that our entire body enters it and is more protected against a possible fall.