Yogic Squat Yoga Pose
Images of Maggie Anderson by Maggie Anderson
Yogic Squat (or Garland) Pose is one of my favorite poses. I love the inner thigh stretch I receive as well as the feelings of releasing some tension. I can just close my eyes and let go here. This pose is great for our thighs, and stretches the ankles, groin and back torso, as well as tones the belly. Not everyone will be as open as I am in the hips and inner thighs. It’s amazing to feel our Kundalini energy flow up the spine in this pose when lifting the pelvic floor up with a root lock. Love it!
Each pose provides its own unique challenges and release for all of us. Learn what each poses’ message is for you as you explore this and every yoga pose.
Directions on how to come into the pose:
Begin in Tadasana (Mountain pose). With feet shoulder width apart or as close together as possible, bend down into a squat position. Keep heels on the mat if you can; otherwise, support them on a folder mat. Lean your torso forward and fit it snugly between your thighs. Rooting your feet as you lower your tailbone. Separate your knees wider than your hips. If flexibility allows, bring palms together at your heart. Spine long. Elbow may press into your inner thighs to open the thighs and groin even more and help lengthen the spine and front torso. If your heels are lifted, don’t worry about it; you could try keeping the feet a little wider apart. Keep the knees and feet pointing in the same direction. On an exhale, lift the pelvic floor up, engaging your root lock or Mula Bandha. Feel the energy rising up from the Root Chakra all the way up your spine and out your Crown Chakra.
If lowering the tailbone close to the floor is not accessible, modify by lifting up to about hip level and placing your elbows on your thighs, feet hip width apart, hands to heart, spine straight.
For more of a challenge, 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.
A binding twist is fantastic and fun in this pose as well! You can place one hand down on the floor in front of you, then take the other hand up and internally rotate hand/arm down and behind your back reaching (you can choose to simply reach up and hold the arm to the sky here). Take the hand that was on the floor and bring it down around, internally rotating your upper arm to reach your hand around your leg, perhaps finding the other hand that reached up and over. Explore your potential but listen to the wisdom of your body. Move with intention always.
Hold for 30 seconds to one minute, then inhale, straighten the legs and stand in Forward Fold (Uttanasana).
When not to do this pose or to modify / Contraindications:
If you have lower back or knee injuries you may need to modify or avoid this pose until you are in better condition to enjoy the benefits of this pose. If the low squat is challenging stay up higher.
Check out my calendar for group yoga classes dates and time.