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Malasana (Garland Pose): Variations, Step-by-Step Instructions, and Benefits

Have you ever felt a deep connection to the earth beneath your feet? A sense of grounding and stability that transcends physical boundaries? Garland Pose, also known as Malasana, invites you to embody this profound connection and embrace the beauty of the present moment. In this blog, we will explore the meaning, benefits, variations, and safety precautions associated with Garland Pose, as well as provide you with step-by-step instructions and alignment cues. So, let's dive into the depths of this empowering asana and discover its transformative potential.

Garland Pose, or Malasana

Garland Pose, or Malasana, is a grounding yoga posture that involves squatting down with the feet close together and the hips resting close to the ground. The name "Malasana" is derived from the Sanskrit words "mala," meaning "garland," and "asana," meaning "pose." It symbolizes the idea of a garland or necklace that encircles the practitioner, creating a sense of unity and connection.

Garland Pose signifies the union of the physical and spiritual realms. It represents our connection to the earth, emphasizing the importance of grounding ourselves and finding stability in our lives. This pose also serves as a reminder to let go of unnecessary burdens and negative emotions, allowing us to create space for new growth and possibilities.

How to Do It

  1. Begin by standing at the front of your mat with your feet hip-width apart.

  2. Slowly lower your hips, coming into a deep squat position.

  3. Bring your palms together at the center of your chest, pressing your elbows against the inside of your knees.

  4. Maintain a straight spine, gently lifting your chest and lengthening through the crown of your head.

  5. You can choose to stay in this position or deepen the stretch by gently pressing your knees apart with your elbows.

  6. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  7. To release, place your hands on the floor, straighten your legs, and return to a standing position.

Garland Pose, or Malasana

When to Do It

Garland Pose can be practiced at any time of the day. However, it is particularly beneficial in the morning to awaken your body and set a grounded intention for the day ahead. It can also be practiced in the evening to release tension and prepare the body for restful sleep.

Preparatory Poses

  1. Child's Pose (Balasana): Helps to stretch the hips and lower back, preparing them for the deep squat in Garland Pose.

  2. Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana): Opens the hips, stretches the inner thighs, and increases flexibility.

Follow-up Poses

  1. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Lengthens and strengthens the entire body, providing a gentle stretch after the deep squat.

  2. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): Stretches the hamstrings, lower back, and hips, promoting relaxation and flexibility.


Garland Pose is primarily associated with the Muladhara (Root) Chakra, which is located at the base of the spine. This energy center governs our sense of stability, grounding, and connection to the physical world. By practicing Malasana, we activate and balance the Root Chakra, fostering a greater sense of security and harmony within ourselves.

 Muladhara (Root) Chakra


As you settle into Garland Pose, you may choose to repeat the mantra, "I am grounded and connected to the earth. I release all that no longer serves me."

Alignment Cues

  1. Keep your feet parallel or slightly turned out, ensuring that your knees are in line with your toes.

  2. Maintain a straight spine by lengthening through the crown of your head and lifting your chest.

  3. Press your elbows against the inside of your knees, gently encouraging them to open.

  4. Engage your core muscles to support your lower back and maintain stability.

  5. Soften your facial muscles and relax your shoulders, allowing any tension to melt away.

Duration of Hold

Hold Garland Pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, gradually increasing the duration as your flexibility and strength improve.


Your drishti, or focused gaze, can be directed towards a point in front of you or towards the horizon. Find a spot that allows you to maintain balance and concentration.

Physical & Spiritual Awareness

As you settle into Garland Pose, become aware of the physical sensations in your body. Notice the stretch in your hips, thighs, and lower back. Feel the connection between your feet and the earth beneath you. Embrace the spiritual aspect of this pose by focusing on releasing any emotional or mental burdens, allowing yourself to experience a deep sense of liberation and renewal.

Beginners' Tips

If you're new to Garland Pose, it's important to remember that flexibility takes time to develop. Start by placing a folded blanket or bolster under your heels to provide support and make the pose more accessible. As you practice regularly, your flexibility will improve, and you can gradually remove the prop.

Who Should Not Do It

Individuals with knee or ankle injuries or those experiencing severe discomfort in the knees should avoid practicing Garland Pose. Additionally, pregnant women in their second and third trimesters should exercise caution or consult with a qualified yoga teacher before attempting this pose.

Who Should Do It

Garland Pose is beneficial for almost everyone, particularly those who spend long periods sitting or standing. It helps to relieve tension in the hips, lower back, and thighs, improving flexibility and promoting a healthy posture. If you're looking to cultivate a sense of grounding, release emotional baggage, and connect with the earth element, Garland Pose is perfect for you.

Benefits of Garland Pose (Malasana)

  1. Stretches the hips, groin, and thighs, increasing flexibility and relieving tension.

  2. Strengthens the lower back, core muscles, and leg muscles.

  3. Improves digestion and stimulates the abdominal organs.

  4. Encourages good posture and relieves lower back pain.

  5. Activates the Muladhara (Root) Chakra, promoting a sense of stability and grounding.

  6. Releases emotional and mental baggage, creating space for new growth and possibilities.

  7. Cultivates patience, focus, and a deep connection to the present moment.

Variations of Garland Pose (Malasana)

To explore different dimensions of Malasana, you can experiment with the following variations:

Baddha Malasana (Bound Garland Pose)

Baddha Malasana, or Bound Garland Pose, is a deep squat where you interlace your hands behind your back. It represents the unity within yourself and helps stretch the hips, groin, and lower back. It promotes grounding, improves digestion, and enhances circulation.

Baddha Malasana (Bound Garland Pose)

How to Do It

  1. Begin by standing at the front of your mat with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.

  2. Slowly bend your knees and lower your hips down towards the mat, coming into a squat position. If your heels don't touch the ground, you can place a folded blanket or block underneath them for support.

  3. Bring your palms together at your heart center, pressing your elbows against the inner thighs.

  4. Gently use your elbows to push your knees wider apart, allowing your torso to lengthen and your spine to stay straight.

  5. If you're comfortable and want to deepen the pose, you can reach your hands behind your back and interlace your fingers, creating a bind. Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders relaxed.

  6. Hold the pose for several deep breaths, allowing your body to relax and sink deeper into the squat.

  7. To release the pose, slowly release your hands if they are bound, and bring your palms back to your heart center. Straighten your legs and come back to standing.

Ardha Baddha Parivrtta Malasana (Half Bound Garland Pose)

Ardha Baddha Parivrtta Malasana, or Half Bound Garland Pose, combines elements of binding, twisting, and the deep squat of the Garland Pose. It offers a unique challenge and a sense of exploration. Let's dive into the meaning and step-by-step guide:

Ardha Baddha Parivrtta Malasana represents the integration of strength, balance, and openness. It invites you to embrace the boundless potential within yourself, both physically and mentally. The pose encourages you to find stability and freedom through the union of opposites.

Ardha Baddha Parivrtta Malasana (Half Bound Garland Pose)

How to Do It

  1. Begin in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.

  2. Bend your knees and lower your hips into a deep squat, coming into the Garland Pose.

  3. As you sink into the squat, bring your right hand to the outside of your left foot.

  4. With your left hand, reach around your back and bind your left fingers with your right hand.

  5. Maintain a tall spine and engage your core to support the twist.

  6. Exhale and slowly rotate your torso to the left, looking over your left shoulder.

  7. Feel the gentle opening in your chest as you twist deeper, finding a comfortable edge.

  8. Stay in the pose for a few breaths, embracing the balance between effort and ease.

  9. To release the pose, gently unwind the twist, release your hands, and straighten your legs to stand.

  10. Take a moment to observe any sensations and appreciate the sense of liberation and integration that the pose offers.

Parivrtta Malasana (Revolved Garland Pose)

Parivrtta Malasana, or Revolved Garland Pose, is a twisted variation of the Garland Pose. In this pose, you twist your torso while in a deep squat, bringing one elbow to the outside of the opposite thigh. It helps to improve spinal mobility, detoxify the body, and stimulate digestion. This pose offers a refreshing twist and promotes a sense of balance and vitality.

Parivrtta Malasana (Revolved Garland Pose)

How to Do It

  1. Begin in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.

  2. Bend your knees and lower your hips down into a squat position, similar to Baddha Malasana.

  3. Place your hands together at your heart center.

  4. Twist your torso to the right, bringing your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh. Use your elbow to gently press into your thigh, helping to deepen the twist.

  5. Keep your spine long and your chest lifted as you twist.

  6. If you're comfortable, you can extend your right arm up towards the ceiling, opening the chest and reaching through the fingertips.

  7. Hold the pose for a few breaths, feeling the twist and stretch in your spine.

  8. To release, bring your hands back to your heart center and slowly unwind the twist. Straighten your legs and come back to standing. Repeat the twist on the other side.

Eka Pada Malasana (One-legged Garland Pose)

Eka Pada Malasana, or One-legged Garland Pose, is a variation of the Garland Pose where one leg is lifted off the ground and crossed over the opposite thigh. It provides a deep stretch to the hips and glutes while improving balance and stability. This pose cultivates strength and flexibility in the lower body and promotes a sense of grounding and openness.

Eka Pada Malasana (One-legged Garland Pose)

How to Do It

  1. Begin in a squat position, similar to Baddha Malasana, with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.

  2. Bring your palms together at your heart center.

  3. Shift your weight onto your left foot and lift your right foot off the ground.

  4. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh, just above the knee, creating a figure four shape with your legs.

  5. Keep your left foot rooted into the ground, pressing firmly for balance.

  6. Slowly lower your hips down towards the mat, maintaining balance and stability.

  7. You can choose to stay in this position, feeling a deep stretch in your right hip and glute, or for an extra challenge, you can start to hinge forward from your hips, extending your torso towards the ground.

  8. Hold the pose for a few breaths, feeling the stretch and strength in your legs and hips.

  9. To release, slowly lift your torso back up, uncross your right leg, and lower it back to the ground. Straighten both legs and repeat the pose on the other side.

Modifications for Garland Pose (Malasana)

  1. Supported Garland Pose: Place a folded blanket or bolster under your hips to provide support and alleviate strain on the knees and ankles.

  2. Wall-assisted Garland Pose: Stand with your back against a wall and lower yourself into the squat, using the wall as support.

Common Mistakes

  1. Allowing the knees to collapse inward: Keep your knees in line with your toes to avoid unnecessary strain on the joints.

  2. Rounding the back: Maintain a straight spine and lift your chest, avoiding rounding or hunching the back.

  3. Straining the neck: Keep your neck relaxed and aligned with your spine, avoiding any unnecessary tension.

Safety and Precautions

  1. If you experience any pain or discomfort during Garland Pose, ease out of the posture and modify as needed.

  2. Avoid forcing yourself into a deep squat if you have knee or ankle injuries or if it causes excessive strain.

  3. Listen to your body and honor its limits. Every individual's flexibility and range of motion are unique.

Additional Preparation Tips

  • Direction to Face: While practicing Garland Pose, face towards the east or north direction, as they are believed to enhance the grounding and energizing effects of the pose.

  • What to Wear: Opt for comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows for ease of movement. Avoid wearing restrictive clothing that may limit your mobility.

  • Suitable Place and Essential Oil or Fragrance: Choose a quiet, clean space where you can fully immerse yourself in the practice. Consider diffusing grounding essential oils such as vetiver, frankincense, or patchouli to enhance the calming and grounding effect of the pose.

  • Music for This Pose: Select soft, soothing instrumental music or nature sounds to create a tranquil ambiance that supports your practice.

Garland Pose (Malasana) invites us to reconnect with the earth, find stability within ourselves, and let go of what no longer serves us. As you integrate this powerful pose into your yoga practice, remember to approach it with patience, compassion, and a sense of curiosity. Embrace the transformative potential of Malasana and allow it to deepen your connection to the present moment, bringing balance, grounding, and joy to your life.

Happy yoga-ing, everyone!


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About the Author

Namaste! My name is Pooja Chauhan

I am a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher and a practitioner. Diving deep into the realm of my own heritage to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing my culture with the world.

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