Garland Pose (Malasana)

Photo of author
Written by
Last Updated:

Garland Pose, Sanskrit:Malasana, (muh-laa-suh-nuh)

mala (garland) + asana (pose)

Also Known as: Squat Pose, Yogic Squat, Wide Squat Pose, Yogi Squat, Squatting Position

Pose Type: Stretching, Menstruation, Pregnancy

Difficulty: Beginner

  • woman doing a garland pose
  • woman doing garland pose from the side

This deep squat will provide a fantastic stretch to the ankles, groins, and lower back. This pose is not a competition- let gravity guide your heels as close to the ground as is comfortable

garland pose Fundamentals

Connect to your divine feminine in this foundational pose that activates the pelvic floor. Tend to the hips and groin in your yoga practice with this deep yogi squat that lubricates the joints and aids in digestion. A great pose to come into during pregnancy that strengthens the feet and ankles and connects you to your hips and pelvis to prepare for labor. 

The pelvis is the orchestrator of the spine and Garland pose is great to practice to improve our posture, release tension in the low back, hips, and send love to the psoas. This is a body shape that many cultures still honor today and that our ancestors spent a lot of time in back in the day. Today we spend a lot of time in chairs and shoes creating a saran wrap effect all throughout our legs and feet. 

This is a great pose to work with your root chakra which is all about roots, foundation and safety, and security. Deeply root the feet down onto the floor or a blanket and rest the palms together at the chest to open your heart in Garland pose.

garland pose Benefits

  • Opens up and develops flexibility in the ankles, shoulders, inner thighs, buttocks and lower back.
  • Stretch the inner thighs and groin muscles.
  • Create strong roots to rise by connecting to your pelvic floor.
  • Aids in relieving back pain. 
  • Aids in digestive wellness and stimulates the lower abdominal muscles.
  • Practice good posture and strengthen your spine. 
  • This hip opener increases the range of motion in the hip flexor and psoas muscles.
an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing garland Pose

How To Do garland pose: Step-By-Step Instructions

How To Get There:

1. Start in mountain pose (tadasana) at the center of your mat. Ground into all four corners of the feet.

2. Walk the feet out about hip-width apart. Start to point your toes facing out and heels turn in.

3. Slowly bend the knees coming down to a low yogi squat, inner knees facing forward, shins facing side to side. It is helpful to have a blanket here to lift the floor up to meet your feet. Or come onto the balls of your feet.

4. Lengthen through the spine and bring attention to the low back, connect to your pelvic floor. 

5. Bring your arms on to the inside of your legs, so that the bottom of your triceps are pressing against your knees and your upper arms and hands are in a prayer position (anjali mudra).

6. Push your shoulders back and down, which will in turn widen your knees. Keep your back flat and straight. Tuck your tailbone under towards your navel and lift the crown of your head up to the sky to lengthen your spine.

7. Stay here for 2-5 breaths. As you hold the pose, notice gravity doing its work and moving your tailbone closer to the floor

Tips And Tricks:

  • Bring a block to sit on so you can feel the entire sole of your foot connecting to earth. 
  • Try not to dump completely into the lower body but rather find a current of energy lifting you from the ground up through the crown of your head. 
  • Hug the shoulder blades together by bringing the palms to heart’s center, to keep from rounding in the spine. 
  • Press the elbows into the legs to lift the heart.

garland pose Variations:

Garland with a blanket under the heels or a block to sit on.

Slip a folded blanket under your heels to support you bringing the floor closer to you. Come to sit on a block to feel the earth completely under your foot.  

  • a woman does garland pose malasana with a blanket under her heels
  • a woman does garland pose malasana with her ankles on a blanket

Garland with a wall supporting your back.

Try this pose with a wall behind you to support your lower back and ease the pressure on your ankles.

Garland with Feet together and head extended forward. 

For deeper sensation and only after properly warming the body, try bringing the feet together, wrap your arms around the knees and clasp the hands behind your low back. Extend the head forward. Bring the forehead to rest on the floor. 

Precautions & Contraindications:

Knee Injuries:

This is a deep flexion in the knee, If you feel any pain in the knee or are recovering from a knee injury, honor your body and skip this pose.

Lower back Injuries:

Avoid practicing if you have a low back injury. Practice this on a chair instead.

Related Poses

Frog Pose (Bhekasana)

Preparatory Poses:

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Crow Pose (Bakasana)

Bound Angle (Baddha Konasana)

Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana)

Counter Poses:

Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

Photo of author
Anna is a lifestyle writer and yoga teacher currently living in sunny San Diego, California. Her mission is to make the tools of yoga accessible to those in underrepresented communities.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.