Improve Lower Body Mobility with the Deep Squat! (Malasana Pose)

One of the best, most functional yoga poses to improve mobility in your lower body is through a deep squat called Malasana or Garland pose. In this article we’ll dive in and talk about the benefits of this pose, I’ll walk through a step-by-step how-to, and I’ll offer modifications to make the squat feel better in your body.

Mikah Horn
Improve Lower Body Mobility with the Deep Squat! (Malasana Pose)

Health benefits of Malasana, the deep squat

Malasana (sometimes known as Garland pose) is a yoga pose that provides a lot of benefits, including improving knee, hip, and ankle mobility, and helping prevent FALLS as we get older, but it also asks a LOT of our body!

So don’t worry, I’ll show you some ways to make it more comfortable for you - because the deep squat is a functional, beneficial movement for our body that we don’t want to lose!  

Your ability to get up and down from the ground with ease (and without using your hands, ideally) is a strong predictor of your longevity.

How to do the deep squat, step-by-step

  • Stand with feet hip distance apart, slightly turned out.
  • Bring hands together at heart center in prayer position.
  • Bend knees and lower into a deep squat.
  • Press palms together and gently use elbows to push knees outward.
  • Avoid rounding your spine and collapsing your shoulders in. Instead, press the palms together actively, broaden the collarbone, and lengthen from the tailbone up to the crown of your head. 
  • Don’t force past any back, hip, or knee strain. 
  • Stay for 5-8 slow, deep breaths.

How to modify the deep squat for YOUR body

Malasana can be difficult for a number of bodies, because it requires a lot of hip, knee, and ankle mobility. But it's a pose we should be practicing regularly to gain the benefits.

There are several ways to make the deep squat more comfortable for your body.

First, it’s okay if your heels don’t touch the floor. That’s very common and is usually due to limited ankle mobility. Place a folded blanket under your heels (or roll up the end of your mat) so you’re able to shift your weight back and find a sense of grounding.

Sitting on blocks or a bolster will take strain off your knees and provide a little more support. You can stack these up as high as you like! 

Feel free to put your fingertips on the ground in front of you (or on yoga blocks) to help with balance.

And finally, if this pose is still not working for you or causing any pain or strain in the joints, try it lying on your back with your feet pressing into the wall. (If you want a little more guidance on these modifications, watch this YouTube video where I show you the different options!)

Most importantly - explore to find what feels good in your body, don’t be afraid to modify, and be patient with your progress!

Your next step

If you’re looking for an easy way to get started with yoga at home, I have just the thing for you that’ll make it easy. And it’s free!

It’s called the Yoga at Home Toolkit!

Sign up for free below, and I’ll send the Yoga Toolkit to you right away so you can start experiencing the MANY benefits of yoga in your life.