garland pose

Yoga Poses

Garland Pose Malasana

Steps

Garland Pose is a deep hip opening pose that keeps on giving. In addition to stretching the hip and groin areas, garland pose lengthens the spine and opens the tail bone area relieving compression. As importantly, garland pose is specifically concerned with strengthening the digestive system, relieving indigestion, constipation and wind. This posture is suitable for all levels, including pregnancy yoga.

From mountain pose, step the feet hip width apart. Bend the knees and squat close to the floor, with the knees apart.  Bring the hands together in prayer at the center of the chest. The elbows press against the inside of the knees. At the same time, squeeze the thighs against the upper arms. To lengthen the spine, tuck the tail down and lift the chest. To exit the pose, place the hands on the floor in front of the feet. List the tail upward and release the head to a standing forward bend. Leading with the arms and chest, swan the arms and rise up to tall mountain.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

When lifting up from the pelvic floor, imagine the lower belly to be a round bowl of jelly. Cradle the bowl with pelvic and abdominal muscles. To add length to neck, imagine sliding the ears back.

Technical Comments

Root and ground foot soles into floor. Turn the feet slightly outward. Lift pelvic floor and lower belly. Bend knees and lower the tail towards the ground. When squatting, lean back into the heels. Tuck the chin, bringing tail and head into one line. Use the elbows to open the knees wider and lift upwards from head crown to lengthen the spine and open the chest.

Benefit Comments

  • Increases flexibility of hips
  • Stretches groins
  • Strengthens and tones pelvic floor
  • Strengthens thighs, knees, shoulders, arm and neck
  • Strengthens digestive system
  • Improves circulation and energy
  • Massages internal organs
  • Lengthens spine and tones spinal nerves

Watch Out For:

  • Tight Achilles tendons, ankles, calves and hamstrings (place heels on blanket or wedge)
  • Falling backwards (sit on block)
  • Falling forwards (squat higher)

Contraindications

  • Sciatica
  • Knee problems

Modifications

  • Place blanket or wedge under heels
  • Place block under hips
  • Sit higher in the squat
  • Squat holding onto back of chair

Variations

  • Twist, raising one arm upwards, spin chest around toward sky
  • Bring hands to reverse prayer
  • Inhale,lift the head up and back, exhale release arms and head forward, curling upper back (repeat in cat/cow fashion)

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Standing Forward bend (Uttanasana)
  • Tall mountain (Utthita Tadasana)
  • Downward facing Dog (Adho mukha svanasana)

Written By: Brenda Hamlet

Brenda Hamlet is a RYT 200 yoga teacher and journalist. More information about Brenda can be found at https://www.facebook.com/brendahamletyoga

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