Malasana Benefits and Steps to do Garland Pose

April 15,2024

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most discomfort-inducing ailments that grabs onto several women all over the world in their 20s. Anyone who is dealing with the same first-hand knows that it is perhaps one of the worst things to have since it causes all kinds of irregularities in bodily functions and mood changes, which quite often come in the way of what might otherwise be a happy and fruitful life.

If you are someone who can relate to what has been said above, we want to tell you that dealing with PCOS does not have to be the herculean task that it has been for you thus far. If you would like to make your life easier. In this article, we embark on a journey into the depths of Malasana, exploring the benefits of Malasana, unraveling a step-by-step guide on how to perform the Garland Yoga Pose, delving into the anatomy of Malasana, addressing important considerations regarding when not to perform the Garland pose, and finally, addressing common questions and doubts that may arise along the yogic journey.

What is Malasana a.k.a Garland Pose?

Malasana is an intermediate-to-advanced level hip opening pose that also engages the Yogi’s core, back and legs. This yoga asana sees the student essentially being gently pulled by the Earth’s gravity all the while having a certain degree of control over their physicality, which they need to exercise to place their posterior sides somewhere between their knees and the earth below. 

This yoga asana gets its original name from Sanskrit and it translates to “The Garland Pose” since once the student has achieved the final form, their inner thighs look like a garland that has been fixed into the wall with screws on both of its extremes, leaving the middle section of the same hanging and being pulled towards the ground as per the Newtonian law of gravity.

If you think that Malasana sounds physically demanding so far, we agree. Yes, this yoga asana does engage a lot of your muscles and your joints, and that is what makes it a physically demanding yoga asana. Hence it is an intermediate-level pose, as it requires the Yogi to have some strength and flexibility in certain areas that are going to play a key role while the student is in Malasana. But, the benefits that one can get from doing this pose diligently make it all worth it. You will learn about some of the main ones in the following section.

What Are The Benefits Of Malasana a.k.a Garland Pose

There are a plethora of benefits to doing the Malasana also known as the garland pose with perfect form and regularity. Some of the key positives of making this pose a staple part of your Yoga routine are as follows:

Malasana Can Help You Deal With PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is something that makes the lives of many members of the better gender very difficult. One of the several ordeals that the patient has to go through is an imbalance in hormones, which could induce all kinds of negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions. A patient can learn to manage that by increasing their serotonin and dopamine levels, which is one of the things that the Malasana is known for.

Malasana Improves Your Metabolism: Yes, you read that right! This asana works wonders for those who are trying to get rid of the fat that they have accumulated during their 30s or 40s, which is usually the harder kind of fat to lose. More than the aesthetic aspect of it, you should consider making use of the increase in your metabolic rate that the Malasana causes since broadly speaking, it allows you to live a longer and healthier life. The way this works is that the Malasana physically engages several muscles, and staying in Malasana requires a certain degree of energy, which the body takes from the fat stored in it. Some of the fat also goes into repairing the microtears that the Malasana causes across the body. That is basically how the Malasana accelerates your metabolic rate and helps you lose the fat content in your body.

Malasana Makes Your Life On The Field Easier: If you are someone whose line of work requires an individual to spend long hours out in the open and on your two feet, Malasana is for you. Field operations require many things, and strong legs are one of them, which you can get by practicing the Malasana regularly, as it engages and eventually strengthens your legs, which will make your field hours breezier than before.

Malasana Brings Flexibility To Your Hips: If you improve the flexibility of your hips, your lower back pain will either go away or you will drastically reduce the chances of having one in the future. Whatever part of the sentence before this you may relate to, we are sure that the importance of flexible hips is growing on you, and hence you should do the Malasana since it is primarily a hip-widening pose.

Malasana Grounds You: As you let gravity do what it does while you do the Malasana, the gravitational pull aligns a good number of your muscles. In addition, the gravitational pull of the ground is symbolic of the fact that the Yogi gets a clearer idea of their place in the grand scheme of things, which can help a myriad of things fall into place while doing the pose.

How To Do Malasana a.k.a Garland Pose

Malasana also known as the garland pose is a simple yet complicated yoga pose because although it is easy to get into it, this asana has many moving parts. Hence, it is essential to be mindful of every single piece of detail that collectively makes what is considered to be the perfect form of Malasana. For that, you must go through the step-by-step guide for this pose, which you will find below.

Malasana Step 1: Stand on your mat and bring your palms to your sides.

Malasana Step 2: Expand your chest by taking a deep breath in and make sure that you straighten your spine while doing so as it is one of the key things to get right to do the Malasana perfectly.

Malasana Step 3: fold your hands together as you would do during a prayer and widen your stance up until the point that the distance between your feet is just a little bit more than the distance between your shoulders.

Malasana Step 4: Take a deep breath in once again, but this time, you must simultaneously ensure that your tailbone and your back are as straight as they can be. You must also be mindful of and correct any kind of curve in your lumbar region.

Malasana Step 5: Gently bring your torso downwards towards the ground by bending your knees up until your hips are positioned somewhere between the distance between your knees and your feet.

Malasana Step 6: Gently push the inner side of your knee areas with the sides of your elbows to open up your hip even further.

Malasana Step 7: Stay in this pose for anywhere between 30-60 seconds.

Malasana Step 8: Come out of the position by first placing the palms of your hands behind you. Then, you have to carefully drop your posterior to the ground. After doing so, slowly cross your legs and sit down comfortably on the mat. Avoid just standing back up under any circumstances since it could cause a lot of discomfort and maybe even a disorienting head rush.

When To Practice Malasana a.k.a Garland Pose

You can either practice the Malasana also known as the garland pose in the morning right after you have come out of your bed or at night just before getting into it. Whatever time you choose, make sure that your bladder and stomach have been empty for at least 4 hours because if either of those two, or worse, if both of them are full, you will be very uncomfortable while in the pose. We would also personally recommend you do it in the morning and preferably in an open environment, like a balcony, if possible so that you are absorbing some Vitamin D as well.

Malasana contraindications

The circumstances under which the Malasana also known as the garland pose should either be avoided or be done after consulting a doctor or/and under the supervision of a trained Yoga instructor are as follows:

  • If you have a very limited amount of flexibility in your hips. It could either be because of leading a sedentary life or a symptom. If you think the latter is the case, consult a physician as and when you can.
  • If you have severely injured your knees or any kind of muscles and ligaments around it. Especially avoid the Malasana if your knees have been operated on recently.
  • Avoid this pose at all costs if you have recently had a case of a slipped disk. However, if a significant amount of time has passed, you may attempt to do the Malasana after consulting your respective health professional. Even then, we would recommend you get into this pose by first perfecting one of the easier Garland Pose variations. 
  • Consider staying clear of this pose if your ankles are significantly weaker than the ankles of someone else of your age, and
  • If you have weak forearms, consider consulting a doctor before doing the Malasana as quite surprisingly, this pose engages them as well.

Let us now take a look at how the Malasana impacts you physically.

Anatomy of Malasana a.k.a Garland Pose

As you begin to slip into Malasana also known as the garland pose, you are putting your abductor and adductor muscles to use right off the bat. During this time, you will also be taking note of your yoga asana and consequently correcting any errors in it, which directly puts a little bit of pressure on your spine (Which will get stretched to an extent) and tailbone.

After that, once you get into the prayer pose, you are activating your arms, shoulders and forearms as well. When you bring your palms close to your heart in a Namaste pose, you will begin to feel every part of your arms coming into play slowly and gently, and as a result, you will get an idea of what to expect from your arms later on while in final form.

Now, you will momentarily shift your focus to your pelvic region, which you have to allow the gravity to pull downwards, partially with the help of your knee joints and the ligaments surrounding it. As you succumb to gravity further, the first part of your anatomy that will get to work is your hips, which will keep expanding until you reach the final form. In addition, your inner and outer thighs will feel contracting and expanding sensations respectively. The next set of muscles that will get engaged is your glutes, which will expand to a good extent as you attempt to place them where they are supposed to be while in final form.

At this point, you would have fully entered into the final pose. Feel the muscles lightening all over and keep your back straight all the while feeling a tingling sensation all over it. Feel your arms and legs strengthening. While feeling all that has been mentioned, you will also need to push your knees outwards with the help of your elbows, which you will use to apply pressure on the knees from the inside of your thighs. This will help you widen your stance and your hips, enabling you to make the most out of this brilliant pose. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Malasana

Why Is It Called Malasana

The term ‘Malasana’ is Sanskrit for “The Garland Pose”. This word can be broken down into two parts as follows:

Mala: Garland, and

Asana: yoga asana.

This yoga asana has been named as such because while in final form, the shape of the yogi begins to resemble that of a garland. Hence, it is more commonly known as the Garland Pose in the West as well.

What are the techniques of Malasana?

The Swinging Garland Pose: in this version of Malasana, the student gently swings their body from side to side, like how you see a garland swinging if it is hit by a mild gush of air. This is done to activate and engage more of the leg muscles. This variation is typically done by those who want to challenge themselves further while being in the Malasana.

Garland Pose With Chair: This Malasana iteration sees the Yogi do all the steps of the Malasana while being seated on the edge of a chair. This is an easier way of getting into the Malasana for those who have very limited hip mobility and very stiff knee joints.

Garland Pose Against A Wall: You can provide your back and your lumbar region with additional support by doing your standard Garland pose against a wall. In addition to supporting your frame, you will also end up eliminating chances of tragically but yet hilariously falling backward on your back.

Garland Pose With Feet On Wall: This version of the Garland pose is done with your back against the floor and feet sticking to a vertical wall. This asana is commonly practiced by those with a low center of gravity.

Garland Pose With Revolving Torso: This version of the Malasana puts the students back to work. This variant sees the student rotate their upper body in one direction to the extent they are comfortable and wrap their arms around one of the knees, which also works wonders for the arms. This incarnation of the Garland Pose is done by those who have mastered the basic Malasana and now want a challenge.

How Can One Get Better At Malasana

You can get better at Malasana with constant practice over time. Additionally, you must also make sure that your form is perfect. If you are deviating from it for any reason, consider slowly slipping into it by doing some of the easier iterations of the Malasana first. If you would like to revisit the basics of executing the Malasana, you can always come back to this page and take a cursory look at the “How To Do Malasana” section as well.