Garland Squat Pose

Sanskrit Name: Malasana (pronounced - Mah-LAHS-anna)

Many years ago, squatting was an unassuming, everyday pose, not just one that was done in yoga class. Nowadays, sitting and slouching for hours at a time has become the norm. It’s easy to forget that sometimes our comfortable, modern lifestyle can do damage to our bodies.

Garland pose stretches the hips, groins, and low back, and promotes health in the pelvis and hip joints. The pose also strengthens the ankles, and tones the belly while stimulating the digestive organs and improving metabolism. Those with knee or ankle issues should practice this pose with caution.

Level: Intermediate

Category: Standing

Breath: Deep Abdominal Breathing.

Keep the mouth closed with tongue resting on the roof of the mouth. Simply allow the breath to enter & release through the nostrils. Keep your awareness on the abdomen & notice how it starts to balloon & expand on the inhale. The exhale, the abdomen relaxes. Do not try & control the breath in anyway. Allow yourself to follow the journey of the breath so we connect the mind & body together into the present moment. Breath in to a count of 1-2-3 & breathe out to a count of 1-2-3.

Results: When you are fully in the present moment the mind no longer has power over you. This allows you to create a new reality for yourself rather than being conditioned by the old mind. Use your affirmation whilst holding the position.

The focus on the breath allows you to enter into the Alpha state which is a state where the brain waves are much slower than the usual waking state of Beta. Doing this consciously allows you to interrupt the neurological pathways within the brain that are causing negative blocks, emotions & behaviours.


  • Step 1: Squat with your feet as close together as possible. (Keep your heels on the floor if you can; otherwise, support them on a folded mat.)
  • Step 2: Separate your thighs slightly wider than your torso. Exhaling, lean your torso forward and fit it snugly between your thighs.
  • Step 3: Press your elbows against your inner knees, bringing your palms to together in Anjali Mudra (Salutation Seal), and resist the knees into the elbows. This will help lengthen your front torso.
  • Step 4: To go further, press your inner thighs against the sides of your torso. Reach your arms forward, then swing them out to the sides and notch your shins into your armpits. Press your finger tips to the floor, or reach around the outside of your ankles and clasp your back heels.
  • Step 5: Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then inhale, straighten the knees, and stand into Uttanasana.


  • Stretches the ankles, groins and back torso
  • Tones the belly

Beginner's Tip: If squatting is difficult, sit on the front edge of a chair seat, thighs forming a right angle to your torso, heels on the floor slightly ahead of your knees. Lean your torso forward between the thighs.

To Deepen The Pose: You can increase the challenge of Dhanurasana by performing the pose with your thighs, calves, and inner feet touching.

Avoid This Pose If:-

  • Low back or knee injuries

Tweet This: MedYoga Garland/Squat Affirmation: “I follow every breath with gentle awareness.”

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