Malaasana AKA Asian Squat – A pose for everybody , everyday
What Is Malaasana?
Malaasana = Mal(Stools) + Aasana The pose name suggests that it is the best pose to be in while passing stools. Maybe Malaasana became Maalaasana(Maala = garland) and got translated as garland pose. There is no resemblance of this pose with garland. It can be called as “Asian Squat Pose” in English, as it is a common sitting pose used in Asian cultures. In many Asian cultures, the toilets were also constructed in a way where a person has to go in this pose to pass stools since it helps in smooth bowel movement.
Steps For Malasana
- Begin in Tadasana with your feet hip-width apart.
- Move into a forward bend / Big-Toe-Pose maintaining a long spine. Stay here for a few breaths to allow hips joints to open.
- Bring your awareness to heels and make sure heals are blat on the ground with toes pointing out diagonally at 45 degrees.
- Slowly start bending knees to descend the tailbone towards the mat, without lifting heels from the mat.
- Press your shins back to bring more weight into your heels. You can try to move your toes to make sure your weight is on your heels and not toes.
- Bring palms at your heart in Anjali Mudra (Namaste). Press fingertip to create more space and lift your chest up.
- Simultaneously separate your knees using outward push with your elbows on your knees. Pushing elbows out also will help to squeeze the shoulder blades towards each other and stretch the chest.
- Maintain a straight neck and fix your gaze at eye level.
- Avoid any rounding of the back at any time during the pose and maintain a straight and long back.
- Hold the pose for as long as it is comfortable for you.
- Stretch in child’s pose.
Watch this video for a full demonstration of Malasana.
Challenges In Getting Malaasana
Malasana can be a very natural and easy pose for few people. However, it challenges the mechanics of the entire body. It requires mobility and stability in various joints like ankles, knees, hips, and strength in the pelvis and spine. People with tight hamstrings, knees, or ankles might need some support to safely practice this pose and make their way into the final pose.
- For supporting ankles, fold the mat or use a blanket to raise heels up.
- For tight hamstrings or knee problems, start with sitting on a block. When you feel comfortable start reducing the height of the block to bring your hips deeper towards the ground.
Benefits Of Malaasana Or Asian Squat Pose
- Stretches hamstrings, calves, and ankles
- Improves digestion
- Opens the hips and groin
- Stretches Back
- Good for pregnancy
Improve The Pose
You can increase the duration of staying in this pose slowly and steadily by practicing this asana every day. Sitting in this pose for 5 to 10 minutes can stretch the deeper part of the muscle. You can add a twist to the pose as well to increase the challenge. You can also add repetitions by swinging arm up and down to add some movement in this pose.
Focus on Muladhara chakra or root chakra which is situated at the end of the spine, near the tailbone. This chakra is the chakra of stability and security. It is also beneficial to practice Mula Bandha & Uddiyaan Bandha in this pose.
Recommended Reading :