Malasana has many benefits. The one that I’ve found most transformative for my own practice has been the way it aids to ease the hips open, promoting healthy hips and releasing tension.
There is a lot to say about hips and how they can store emotions and trauma, I feel another blog post brewing! But for now I’ll keep it brief and just mention a very helpful piece of advice a teacher in India told me. She said “don’t worry about actively trying to let go of tension and past traumas, have faith in the practice and little by little your body will naturally start to open and release.”
That was nearly a year ago and I was so tense at the time I found it hard to believe such tension could ever be let go of, but feeling how much has been released and how open my hips have become through Malasana, other hip openers and a regular yoga practice, I’m amazed at how the body seems to know exactly how to heal and soften when given the opportunity.
In Sanskrit ‘mala’ means garland which ties this posture to the use of sacred mala beads used during mantra practice and also the use of flower garlands in many traditional Hindu festivals. This posture can be deeply meditative.
What’s more it can help you to feel grounded because the muladhara chakra (root chakra) is very close to the floor/earth, it’s the foundation of the chakra energy system and is responsible for our sense of safety, security and stability.
Malasana also stretches the ankles, lower hamstrings, back and calfs whilst toning your abs and strengthening the lower back. This yoga squat is also great for aiding healthy digestion.
We don’t want our knees to be hurting in this pose, if this is the case you can try using a prop like a rolled blanket tucked behind the knees but pay attention to come out if the knees continue to hurt. Other modifications include a rolled blanket or bolster beneath the heels if they don’t stay on the ground or sitting on a prop if stiff in the groins.
Enjoy your practice and Namaste 🙂