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Helps you find freedom and flexibility in your groins; lengthens your spine; creates overall balance and strength; quiets the mind
1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your feet and legs together. Spread the soles and toes of both feet.
2. Keep your legs parallel while bending your knees and pressing your heels into the floor, maintaining even weight on both feet.
3. Once your knees are completely bent, spread them and move your chest forward between your thighs. Reach your arms and hands forward.
4. Move your side ribs forward then down, bringing your elbows closer to the floor.
5. Widen your arms and reach for your heels.
6. The tendency in Malasana is to have most of the weight in your outer feet, but make sure you maintain the weight in the inner part, too. This will help you to keep the inward rotation of your thighs, bringing them closer to the side ribs. This is the main action to keep in mind in Malasana; it will help you to understand our peak pose, Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose). The compactness in Kurmasana starts from pressing the inner feet down. Starting the action in the feet releases tension in the groins.
7. The legs will be pressing into your ribs; counteract this pressure by inhaling to expand the ribs, collarbones, and chest. Hold here for a few breaths. Inhale to return to standing.
Avoid These Common Mistakes
Don’t simultaneously spread your knees while bending your legs when first moving into the pose. To protect your knees from injury, first bend the legs and then spread the knees.
Don’t stay in the pose if you feel pain in your knees or your groins.
About Our Pros
Teacher Gabriella Giubilaro began practicing yoga in 1973 in Florence, Italy, with Dona Holleman. She has been to India many times to study directly with B.K.S. Iyengar, Geeta Iyengar, and Prashant Iyengar and she is the director of the Istituto Iyengar Yoga of Florence where she teaches regularly, in addition to her workshops worldwide. Model Laura Antelmi has studied for 29 years with Giubilaro, in addition to B.K.S. Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar. She owns the Iyengar Yoga Center of Boulder, in Colorado, and teaches workshops internationally.