Malasana or garland pose is one of those classic poses that a lot of people can do, and has a variety of benefits. Here are a few that will likely apply to you!
- Creates a feeling of being “grounded” and safe (as it deeply activates and connects you to the root chakra).
- An easy pose to locate and strengthen your pelvic floor.
- Relieves lower back pain. Especially for people who sit at a desk all day and have poor posture!
- Opens your hips and pelvis for conception and birth.
- Enhances circulation to the pelvis and womb.
- Lubricates knee and hip joints.
- Encourages deep breathing.
Here are my tips for maximizing the benefits of malasana!
- Use a support under your perineum (especially if you have Symphisis Pubis Discomfort, are late in pregnancy,or have knee issues. ) This helps increase that feeling of connectedness, earthiness and grounding. You can use a blanket, pillow, block or bolster.
- Use your breath (in and out through the nose, or ujayyi breath if you’re familiar with it) to really use your pelvic floor. One of my teachers used to call them “elevator kegels“! On either the inhale or the exhale, lift up on the pelvic floor (that sensation like you’re trying to stop the flow of urine), and then use the opposite breath to slowly release. See if you can continue without pause between breaths or movements of the pelvic floor.
- Lean against a wall while doing this for a whole other world of support. Allow everything to totally release.
- Relax your jaw. The hips and the jaw are intimately connected to each other. Notice what happens if you tense up your jaw, where else in your body do you feel that tension? Now notice what happens if you release it? Pigeon (eka pada rajakapotasana) is another great posture to notice the hip-jaw connection. This is especially important to practice if you’re trying to get pregnant or are pregnant! It’s why we kiss before sex – it loosens everything up down there. The throat chakra (being able to express ourselves and our needs well) is related to the root chakra (feeling safe and provided for). It’s much easier to conceive (i.e. welcome a new being into our bodies) when we feel that we are safe to be able to express our needs and have them met.
- Practice daily and hold the pose through any feelings of discomfort (emotional or physical). *Pain and discomfort are different things. If you feel pain, especially in your knees, stop! And ask your teacher how to modify or if you should skip the pose.* Humans tend to carry a lot of feelings of disappointment in the pelvic/hip area, and women even more so. Notice what emotions come up for you, acknowledge them, breathe with them, honor them, and let them go.