CHENNAI : Mala means garland. This is a simpler version of Malasan for beginners. It is also known as the Yogi’s squat.
Sit on the floor on your haunches with your feet apart. Widen your knees and squat till your buttocks are below the knees and the pelvis rests close to the heels. Maintain a straight back and place your elbows on the inside of your knees. Join your palms together. Breathe normal for 30 seconds or a minute as you look ahead. (In the advanced version your feet will be together and the arms will extend forward and wrap around the knees to hold the ankles from behind).
This posture strengthens the legs and abdominal organs. This is a good stretch for the spine and the lower back. It also releases negative energy — apana vayu. This pose also helps pregnant women prepare for labour.
Do not try this pose if you have a knee injury or suffer from chronic backache. Always get your doctor’s approval for yoga in pregnancy.
(The writer is a yoga trainer at Sri Aurobindo Society, Bengaluru)