Pose of the month
Malasana: Garland pose or yogi squat.
Working with the earth element, the focus is on the Muladhara chakra which is the root chakra. Lots of postures within the asana practice require us to root down and connect to the earth which helps brings a focus to our posture, our breath and our body.
All postures are built from the ground up. Stable, focused foundations are really important and poses with a strong connection to these foundations are a perfect place to start. Tadasana (mountain pose), Sukasana (easy seat) or Balasana (childs pose) are all meditative postures which bring us back to our centre and help us to slow down and focus our minds inward whilst feeling the earth beneath us.
The earth supports us but can also energise us. As much as we root down for stability and focus into the ground, we can also draw energy up through our foundations into our postures.
Malasana is a pose which helps us connect to both energies.
Combining these opposing forces, we ground down into the earth with downward facing energy through our feet, creating concentration and focus. Simultaneously we are drawing up out of the waist, lengthening throughout the spine and reaching up with the crown of the head.
When we are grounded we tend to feel calm, safe, focused and able to emotionally and physically support and hold ourselves.
Malasana benefits include focusing, grounding, improved balance, hip and knee flexibilty and stretches the thighs, groin, hips, ankles, and torso.
Beginners - Place bricks under the heels for stability so that you can work into drawing up out from the waist.
Challenge - Split the hands, opening the chest and twisting to the side or maybe bind the arms round the leg and interlace the fingers.