The Garland Yoga Pose (Malasana or Squat)
1. The squat position stretches the ankles, groin and back. This also takes a great deal of pressure off the spine.
2. Tones the belly.
1. Begin by standing with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart. Exhale and squat down, letting your spine round (let the heels come up if they have to). You can place a block under your buttocks if it is hard to get into the squat position.
2. Place your hands in prayer position over the sternum and press the thighs apart with the outside of your arms, as in figure A.
3. Be sure to keep your chest lifted and eyes on the horizon.
4. Hold for 5 breaths or 20-60 seconds.
1. To make this exercise easier, hold onto something firm, like a table, to help you find stability while you learn to press your heels down and lengthen your spine. This variation will also help you stretch your calves and ankles so that you can reach your heels to the floor. The object you hold onto should be fixed, secure, and high enough so that your arms can reach upward in the squat.
2. To release the back, round forward as in figure B.