Garland Pose

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Malasana

Garland Pose is also known as the “squat pose,” because it helps in giving rest to your legs during strenuous yoga sessions, such as in Vinyasa, or “Power Yoga.

 

How to: Garland Pose

Begin in a squatting position where your feet are situated as near to each other as possible. Ideally, place them firmly on the ground, rather than on your yoga mat.

Now begin to separate your thighs so that the gap between them is greater than that of your torso. Exhale and bend the torso forwards to place it in between your thighs.

Push the elbows into your inner knees while folding your hands in a prayer position. This will result in the lengthening of your torso.

You can move deeper into the pose by pressing your inner thighs into the torso’s sides. Bring your arms to the front, and then move them to the outside so that your shins are into your armpits. You can push your fingertips to the ground or even hold back your heels by reaching for the exterior of the ankles.

Stay in this yoga pose for 30 to 60 seconds. While leaning back, make sure you inhale while straightening your knees.

 

Benefits of Garland Pose

Garland Pose, when practiced several times weekly offers you the following benefits:

  • It deeply stretches your groin, ankles and back torso.
  • It improves performance for dancers, runners, cyclists and gymnasts.
  • It reduces fatigue and tiredness.
  • It results in toning of a protruding belly.
  • It is quite helpful during the last month of pregnancy. It facilitates the delivery of the baby, and thus, it is recommended for expectant mothers who practice prenatal yoga.
  • It strengthens the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, which can reduce incontinence in mature yoga practitioners

 

For newcomers to yoga, the Garland Pose can help in stretching of prominent regions like the groin and ankles, which are commonly stiff for beginners.  Therefore, Garland Pose can facilitate yoga poses like Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) and Wide Leg Forward Bend (Bibaktapadapaschimottanasan).  It is also known to be helpful in promoting regularity of the bowels; hence yoga students with constipation may find relief by doing the Garland Pose.

For pregnant women, this is a superb pose to ease the strain of the final months of pregnancy.  It’s inclusion in a prenatal yoga regime can ease labor and delivery, as well as alleviate 2 common complaints of late pregnancy – urinary incontinence and constipation.  Props such as a small stool to support the pelvis can be used when the pose feels slightly uncomfortable.

Consult your health care practitioner and/or a certified yoga teacher who is experienced in teaching pre-natal yoga before starting a pre-natal yoga program, as certain poses are restricted to use in the first and second trimesters. Also, consult your yoga teacher before doing Malasana in case you suffer from the following:

  • Injury of the lower back
  • Medical history of surgery in knees

 

Breathe calmly and slowly without strain while remaining in the squatting position of this Garland Pose for 1 to 5 minutes. The longer duration is recommended for the third trimester of pregnancy and those experiencing constipation.

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