Garland Pose

Garland Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska

Malasana, or Garland Pose (as the arms hang from the neck like a garland) is a very basic pose and should come naturally to all. But with modern comfort and habits, the simple bending of the knee and sitting on our feet has become a great challenge to most of us. Malasana brings back the most simple way of using the lower back and the knees to squat on the floor which otherwise should come naturally.
Malasana works wonders on the digestive organs and this is done by the simple method of sending apana (one of the five vital Vayus as per Yoga) downwards and thus bringing a strong Muladhara (one of the Chakras in the human body as per Yoga Sutras), which is the root of the spine.

Garland Pose is considered a base pose as garland pose variations can be derived from this pose. Garland Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Come to stand at the top of your mat with your arms alongside your body. Step your feet about as wide as your mat with the toes pointed outwards slightly.
Step 2
Engage the belly by gently bring your bellybutton up and back towards the spine.
Step 3
Bring the hands to heart center in prayer position, bend the knees and come into a squat. If the heels lift off the earth you can fold up your mat or put a blanket underneath them. Shift your weight slightly back into the heels. Modifications: If you have really tight hips and can’t come into this posture fully, you can come to seated on a block and still get the host of benefits.
Step 4
Draw the shoulder blades down the back and away from the ears. The triceps come to the inside of the knees as they push into one another. This will help you to lengthen the spine. Tailbone reaches down towards the earth as the crown of the head reaches up.
Step 5
To release, bring the fingertips down to the earth as you gently start to straighten the legs to come into Uttanasana (Standing forward fold).

Pose Detail

Benefits and Contraindications


Increases flexibility of hips

Stretches groins

Strengthens and tones pelvic floor

Strengthens thighs, knees, shoulders, arm and neck

Strengthens digestive system Improves circulation and energy

Massages internal organs

Lengthens spine and tones spinal nerves



Knee problems

Photo poses in different angles

Visualization Tips

When lifting up from the pelvic floor, imagine the lower belly to be a round bowl of jelly. Cradle the bowl with pelvic and abdominal muscles. To add length to neck, imagine sliding the ears back.

Technical Tips

Root and ground foot soles into floor. Turn the feet slightly outward. Lift pelvic floor and lower belly. Bend knees and lower the tail towards the ground. When squatting, lean back into the heels. Tuck the chin, bringing tail and head into one line. Use the elbows to open the knees wider and lift upwards from head crown to lengthen the spine and open the chest.

Modifications & Variations
  • Garland Pose Partner
  • Garland Pose Forward Bend Thumb Stacked Floor
  • Garland Pose Hands Chair
  • Garland Pose Hands On Heels
  • Garland Pose Hands Forward
  • Spontaneous Flowing Half Squat
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Standing Forward Fold Pose
  • Mountain Pose
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Revolved Squat Pose
  • Crow Pose
  • Standing Forward Fold Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.