Poses: 13/52: Malasana

a7b89284b9df11e3a9a60e6bb66871e9_8Malasana or Garland pose or the dreaded Yogi Squat. This is something that comes easy for some and others it is their nemesis...basically like anything in yoga.

Heels down is the challenge for most. There are tips and tricks...like a rolled mat under your heels:

dbddcc6a0833eb8e88a37cede6593583 My first true yoga teacher, Karen Breneman, in Edinburgh, Scotland is an amazing yogini...she will always be responsible for inspiring to jump headfirst into this practice:

[vimeo 75380369 w=500 h=281]

I keep track of her through social media now and couldn't help but share her instavideo from just a few months ago:

http://distilleryimage7.s3.amazonaws.com/c370474875ff11e38bdf124f524ee003_101.mp4

Of course I have nothing but the utmost respect for Karen, I just thought it is an amazing demonstration of how this can be challenging for anyone...even a crazy, crazy advanced practitioner.

Malasana is tricky. Here's how to do it...instructions from Yoga Journal:

Squat with your feet as close together as possible. (Keep your heels on the floor if you can; otherwise, support them on a folded mat.)

Separate your thighs slightly wider than your torso. Exhaling, lean your torso forward and fit it snugly between your thighs.

Press your elbows against your inner knees, bringing your palms to together resist the knees into the elbows. This will help lengthen your front torso.

To go further, press your inner thighs against the sides of your torso. Reach your arms forward, then swing them out to the sides and notch your shins into your armpits. Press your finger tips to the floor, or reach around the outside of your ankles and clasp your back heels.

Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then inhale, straighten the knees, and stand.