This summer, when you find yourself bustling from one activity to the next, take a moment to come back to center and connect with your root. (And gardeners, spend some time off your knees during those weeding sessions. Instead, plant your own root into the earth.)
Garland Pose Variation (Malasana) aka Squat
1 – From standing forward bend (uttanasana) with parallel feet, squeeze your low belly and focus on tucking the tailbone as you bend your knees and drop the hips toward the ground.
2 – Adjust the feet so the knees are comfortable. Toes can point out. Let the heels lower toward the ground, being mindful of your breath. Keep your feet and legs active.
3 – Separate your thighs slightly wider than your torso. Inhale and lengthen through the spine, as you exhale, lean your torso forward to fit in snugly between your thighs, tailbone continuing to root towards the earth.
4 – Press your elbows against your inner knees, bringing your palms together in a salutation seal (wai in Thai, anjali mudra in sanskrit). The knees press into the elbows to keep your torso long.
5 – Breathe here for 30-60 seconds, then inhale and straighten the legs, coming back to uttanasana. (For a vinyasa sequence, move back and forth from uttanasana to malasana 3-5 times with your breath).
Notes: As you become more comfortable in this pose, you can hold it for longer periods and even work (weed, build a fire, put things in your lower cupboards etc.) from this position. The important thing to be aware of is your breath. If you cannot take full breaths, your torso needs more length. Focus on lengthening through the spine, rooting the tailbone, relaxing the shoulders, slightly lifting the heart. Less bend in the knees or not having the heels on the ground will also help. The heels can be supported with a rolled blanket or towel, and the pelvis can be supported with a folded blanket or block to make the post more restorative.