Seated for too long? Constipated? Tight hips? Sluggish digestion? The answer is Malasana or garland pose. The wisdom of yoga has an answer for every single health issue. Malasana is your answer if you have been complaining of constipation, lower back pains, sciatica pains, tight hips and so much more. Malasana is actually the most natural way to sit, rest everything else is man-made. Here are some of benefits of Malasana:
Constipation: Indian toilets are scientifically designed. When our ancestors sat down on the floor in a squatting position to pass a motion, that enabled a proper alignment for easier evacuation. This was then taken over by Western commodes and now again people are getting back to squatty potty after realising the importance of squats. However, if you are constipated, try sitting in Malasana for one-two minutes. You could even try sipping on a glass of warm water while in this pose and notice how it helps ease your bowel movements. It can also help release trapped gases in cases of flatulence and bloating.
Breaks you from being sedentary: We are sitting way more than what we have been designed to and hence issues like obesity, belly fat, spondylosis, cervical issues, sciatica are on the rise. Humans have been designed to move. Chair is the worst invention by man because it keeps us chained to it, even worse—ultra soft cushions and recliners that completely spoil our spine alignment. Getting into a Malasana is a great way to give the body a break from sitting and improve posture.
Hip opener and circulation booster: Tight hips, calves and poor circulation are an outcome of a sedentary lifestyle. Malasana helps reactivate blood circulation around the hip region that actually stagnates when we sit, stretches our hips and groin, boosts pelvic, back health, opens up tight hamstrings thereby increasing mobility. Take breaks from the chair and sit like this even for a minute or less and breathe. It will help stretches your hips and relax the lower back, glutes and hamstrings. Better blood circulation also helps keep your reproductive organs healthy.
Helps tone the body: Malasana helps bring muscle tone in your glutes, tights and around your belly as it engages all the muscles concerned. Digestion stimulator: As you sit in Malasana, you will notice a certain kind of a pressure on your lower abdomen. This pressure helps gently massage your digestive organs thereby stimulating them to secrete enzymes and digestive juices. Result: improved digestion!
Malasana variation: Take it a step further and try twisting your torso two-three times sideways to help further tone your body and stimulate your digestion as it also helps gently massage your digestive organs. If you are unable to sit flat on your feet because it feels tight, try sitting on your toes. You should get there with consistent practice. One could also take the support of a wall to rest their back in the beginning. Do it anytime and as often as you can—morning or whenever you find yourself sedentary. Teach this to your kids too.
Contraindications: Avoid Malasana if you have severe knee issues, especially a surgery. Or seek guidance from a qualified teacher. So, the next time you reach out for a chair to sit, know that you always have an option of sitting in Malasana to take a break.
Luke Coutinho The author is a Mumbai-based holistic lifestyle coach X