Pose Type: Standing
Watch little children playing and you will often see them in a natural squatting position as they reach for toys and move about. Yoga Squat pose, or Malasana, is a squat that elongates the spine and strengthens the core. It works to open the hips, stretch the leg muscles and feet, and helps the yogi find balance.
This pose is highly recommended for those who sit for long periods of time as it is the opposing position. If your heels come off the floor, that’s a sign of tight Achilles tendons, which is very common. Try rolling your mat or a towel and placing it under your heels for support. This allows the body to relax into the pose and you gain benefits.
This pose can be practiced as part of a vinyasa flow or in isolation:
- Start from a standing position on your mat with your feet parallel and slightly wider than your hips.
- Bend your knees and gently lower your seat toward the earth until your hips are lower than your knees.
- Keep the spine vertical and the head reaching away from the pelvic area. You may lean slightly forward into the pose.
- Bring the backs of the arms against your inner shins and lift the chest to lengthen the spine. Fold the hands together at heart center.
- Relax the shoulders and take long breaths.
Releasing from the pose is by either releasing into a seated position on the floor or by lifting up and rising out of the squat to standing.
Benefits of Yoga Squat Pose
The benefits of this pose include:
- Stretches the groin, lower back, and sacrum
- Releases the hips and knees
- Excellent stretch for the calves, ankles, and feet
- Tones the belly
Malasana stimulates the metabolism in the body, allowing it to release toxins and better absorb healthy nutrients. Malasana calls for the yogi to plant their feet firmly into the floor, an act that helps you achieve balance and creates a calming effect.