Today’s Yoga Post is about one of those squat stretches, the Ardha Maalasana or the Half Squat Pose, that aims at stretching and strengthening the lower half of your body. Ardha Malasana translates to Half Garland Yoga Pose.
Ardha = Half, (Maala = Garland) + (asana = yoga pose)
How to do the Ardha Maalasana or the Half Squat Pose:
- Stand in tadasana, standing tall, inhale bringing your palms to join overhead doing the namaskara mudra
- Exhale, bring the palms to your heart
- Inhale and stepping onto your right, bring your feet apart
- Exhale and now bend your knees and slowly go down, by asserting all your weight onto your right foot, while your knees are fully bent
- Stay in the pose for 2 or 3 breaths
- Exhale, easing out of the stretch, by coming back up, make sure your feet are apart imitating the wide legged standing pose
- Inhale, bring your feet together
- Exhale, clasp your hand above your head in Tadasana
- Inhale and release out of the pose
- Relax for a bit and the repeat the same on the left side
- Do sets of 3 and then gradually increase it to 5
- Once you are flexible enough practice the stance as shown in the video below, you need not have to rise up to go back into the stretch on the other side. But, you can just move from left squat pose to the right one directly.
Variation for Beginners:
Instead of moving directly to the squat after the wide legged standing pose, you may also consider a forward bend where your bring your palms to touch the ground. Then deepen into the pose by bending your knees, resting your palms on the floor for balance until you are well versed with the pose.
A Video is as below: (The video is only for your reference since it does not really follow my step-by-step instructions as stated above, but only shows the resultant half squat pose in the end. Also, note that instead of holding an exercise brick in your hand, you may also join your hands in prayer pose. Viewers discretion is advised before performing Yoga poses)
Cautions: All kinds of Yoga poses are always recommended to be practiced initially under the guidance of a trained Yoga professional. You must avoid this pose if you are ailing from any injury or have had any surgery in your knee, leg, hip, pelvis or hamstrings.
Benefits of the Ardha Malasana or Half Squat Yoga Pose:
- Lengthens the hamstrings of the extended leg
- Strengthens the entire lower body, particularly the psoas muscles
- Loosens the muscles in around your hips and pelvis
- Renders a healthy compression to the bent knee
- Develops stability.
I hope this post gave you an insight into the benefits and how to do the Ardha Malasana or Half Squat Yoga Poses and also clarified a few doubts if any. I recommend this pose if you are well versed in the basic Yoga poses, so that you ease into the next level without causing any strain to your body. Don’t forget to leave in your comments here or You can also visit : Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin | Pinterest