Forward Extensions

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Garland Pose
Level: All Levels

Mala = a wreath, garland, crown, string of beads or rosary.

Organizing the pose

    • Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
    • Inhale and lift the arms up to shoulder height.
    • Exhale and bend the legs, coming into a full squat, keeping the feet and knees together.
    • Bring the knees wide apart and reach the trunk through. Either hold this position for several breaths or proceed on to the next stage.
    • One at a time, use the hands to roll the shins in and wedge them into the upper arms, bringing the knees in towards the armpits.
    • Reach the hands around the shins – left arm around the left shin, right arm around the right shin – and grab the ankles. Bring the head towards the floor. Hold this position for several breaths.
    • Exhale and release the arms.
    • Stretch the legs and hang over in Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose), as described above.
    • Inhale and return to Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
    • Raise the arms overhead into Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hands Pose) to open up the abdomen.
    • Release.

Practice Points

    • Draw both inner thighs deeper into the body.
    • Soften and broaden the hip creases.
    • Soften the lower abdomen and move it deeper into the body. Lengthen the upper abdomen forward.
    • Move the inner face of the sacrum back away from the pubic bone and soften the buttocks.
    • Turn the sternum towards the pubic bone.