Garland Pose (Malasana)

Garland Pose (Malasana), also called the ‘Yogi Squat’, is a great way to stretch the hips, ankles, and lower spine. Both a stimulating and releasing posture at the same time, it can be held or used as a transition.

It is recommended to avoid this pose if knee or hip injuries are present but there are a variety of ways to modify Garland to make it accessible to anyone.

When performed, Garland pose is similar to the position one would use to go to the bathroom outdoors. However, the root of the word, ‘mala’, is like mala beads, which are traditional meditation beads worn around the neck. So the name of the posture references garland hanging around the neck.

How to Do Garland Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Position your feet as wide as the long edges of your mat and turn the toes out to a 45-degree angle.

Step 2

Bring the hands to prayer at your heart and sink the hips down toward the ground. If the heels cannot stay down, place a wedge or blanket underneath the heels for support. Keep the chest lifted and spine long.

Step 3

Lift the pelvic floor and tone the abdomen.

Step 4

Press the arms into the legs and the legs into the arms to stay upright, without rounding the spine at all. Stay here for 5 breaths.

Garland Pose Benefits

  • Stretches the hips, lower back, and ankles
  • Tones the core
  • Opens the chest
  • Strengthens the legs