How to Do the Garland Pose in Yoga
The garland pose, or malasana, is a yoga pose that can help to relieve stress and increase your focus. Doing this pose regularly can also help to improve your balance, open your hips, and lengthen your spine. It’s important to know how to do the position as well as the modifications. Doing the garland pose can be difficult, especially for beginners, but it can be a very beneficial and useful pose to do for those interested in developing their yoga poses.
Getting into the Position
Stand in mountain pose.Spread your toes and the soles of your feet to ensure you are firmly balanced. Make sure the outer edges of your feet are parallel to each other. Spread your weight evenly between your legs and feet as well as your chest and arms.
- To align your spine, stack your ribcage over your hips.
- Mountain pose is the basis for many standing yoga poses. The mountain pose is both a relaxed and alert posture.
Spread your feet apart and squat down as you exhale.Move your feet on the mat so they are slightly wider than hip-width apart. Your squat should come from your torso first in a vertical movement. As you exhale, lower into a squatting position. Exhaling as you squat helps to keep you relaxed as it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Your toes can point straight ahead, or turn outward at a 45-degree angle.
Spread your knees apart and lean forward in between them.To open space for your torso, press your knees out and toward the back of the mat. Keep your spine straight and your upper body lifted. Bring your palms together in prayer position and use your elbows to press your knees back and away from each other. Stay in the pose for several breaths.
- When leaning your torso into your knees, your toes may turn out instead of facing forward. However, try to keep your toes straight and parallel, if possible.
- You can place a block underneath your hips to rest on while you maintain this pose.
Release the pose.Once you've held the pose for a count of 5 breaths, it's time to release. Bring your fingertips to the floor. Unbend your legs by pushing yourself upwards, using your quads and glutes to do the work. Keep your weight squarely in your feet and let your torso fold forward.
- When you are done moving, you should be in a forward fold, with your face towards your knees and your arms bent towards the floor.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
Support your feet.Your feet should be mostly on the ground, with your heels touching the floor. However, if they don't, you can provide support with a towel, blanket, or yoga mat. Simply roll it up firmly, and place it under your heels for support.
Don't move your knees outward in the first part of the pose.You may injure your knees by putting too much stress on them and bending them outward before you squat. Instead, move into the squat position, then move your knees outward.
- You may find yourself turning your knees outward or inward when first doing the pose. Just make sure to continually check in while you’re doing the pose to correct yourself and focus on bending from the legs. Engage all of your legs and hips, rather than just your knees.
- If you already have knee problems, you may want to try a modified version of the pose by employing the foot support technique.
Don’t stay in the pose if it’s painful.The garland pose should help to stretch your joints and muscles. Make sure to stop the pose if you feel extended or sharp pain.
- Your muscles may be sore after yoga, which is normal. However, any sharp or throbbing pain is unusual and should be attended to immediately.
- There’s nothing wrong with doing a different pose if the Garland is painful. There are many different yoga poses that stretch similar areas and can be beneficial to you and your body.
Make sure to warm up first.The garland pose can be a beginner or advanced pose depending on the variation, and it's important to warm up before doing it either way. Even 5 minutes of slow stretching from a sitting position can help warm your muscles.
- When you're not warmed up, it's easier to pull muscles or injure yourself. Even when doing beginner poses, you need to be limber before doing them.
Knowing the Benefits of the Garland Pose
Know that garland pose can strengthen your ankles.The garland pose can help to strengthen your ankles since you’re resting mostly on your ankles. If you have an ankle injuries, you may want to try a modified pose.
- Make sure that your weight is balanced on both feet. This will make sure that your ankles have equal weight and you’re not relying more on one or the other.
- Blankets under your knees can help to lessen the pressure on your ankles. This cushions the amount of flexion of your knees and ankles.
Be aware that garland pose can also make hips more mobile.Yoga is great for opening up your hips and increasing your flexibility. You can try to change this pose as you become more experienced to strengthen your hips.
- After you’ve been doing the garland pose for a while, try to bring your feet closer together. This will help to build your hips up even more.
Stretch your back during garland pose.The garland pose is one of the best poses for your back muscles. It can stretch out those muscles as well as help out with some back pain.
- You can do a variation of this pose where you hold onto a table to stabilize yourself as you extend your spine and sink back into your hips. This can really put the focus of the pose on your back muscles.
- Putting your back against a wall can also be a good modification for this pose. This may be a good variation if you are experience some tenderness or soreness in your back muscles.
Work on your abdomen muscles during garland pose.The garland pose can strengthen your abdomen muscles, which should be relaxed while you’re doing the pose. This will help you to not stay tight throughout.
- Your abdomen muscles should be relaxed. If they are tight, it may throw off the balance necessary for the pose.
Use the garland pose for pregnancy.Pregnant women find the garland pose particularly useful when they are getting close to their due date. The pose helps pregnant women get their bodies ready for labor.
- The garland pose helps to loosen your hips. This will help women when opening up their hips during labor.
- Speak to your healthcare provider before doing this pose if you are pregnant and exercise caution so as not to overextend your joints or otherwise injure yourself.
Video: Yoga Poses & Articles | Squat Pose (Malasana)
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