The word malasana in Sanskrit is commonly used to refer to several types of squatted positions:
The most famous of which is also called upavesasana, it consists in the common squat with legs apart, with the feet spaced between them, the palms of the hands joined in front of the chest and the bust erect, similar to the position naturally assumed to defecate.
However Malasana is translated as “the position of the garland,” indicates a squatting position but with the feet held together, the torso bent forward between the legs and with the hands that grab the heels or with the hands grabbing each other behind the back, the latter is also known as kanchyasana, “the golden belt pose”.
There are therefore various translations of the word and the different variants of the same position, today we shall see, the most common one to the various schools of yoga, which according to Iyengar is the most correct translation referring precisely to the description of Malasana as to the position of the garland.


  • Sit in Dandasana (staff pose) on the mat.
  • Bend your knees one at a time, until they are pointing towards the ceiling and the calves resting on the back of your thighs.
  • Bring your chest forward to raise your  bum. Put your weight on your soles, squatting.
  • Keep your heels resting on the ground if you can.
  • Try to separate the thighs that should be slightly wider than the bust.
  • Exhale, bringing the torso forward between the thighs.
  • Lengthen the vertebral column and try to keep it in line.
  • Stretch until your forehead approaches the ground if you can rest it on the ground or uses a blanket to support it.
  • Press your elbows against the inside of the knees to enlarge more the thighs and approach your palms in Anjali Mudra.
  • Press the inner thighs against the sides of the chest, straighten the arms and then bring them towards the outer sides and press your calves under the armpits.
  • Press your fingers on the ground or wrap them from outside around the ankles and grip the back of your heels.
  • Keep this position until you are able to balance both the effort and the relaxation, for at least 30 seconds.
  • Breathe slowly.
  • To exit inhale, raise the chest, sit on the ground and stretch your legs once again.


Let us now look at the benefits of Malasana, and remember that this position is contraindicated if you suffer from low back pain or problems in the joints of the knees, hips and ankles.


  • Stretches the vertebral column and the muscles of the back and neck.
  • Invigorates the abdominal wall and the legs muscles.
  • Lengthens the muscles and strengthens the joints of the ankles, knees and back.
  • Helps to release the joints of the hips and pelvis, by stretching the muscles of the pelvic floor.
  • Helps dispose of waste.
  • Calms and relaxes the mind.
  • Improves digestion, massaging the internal abdominal organs.

If you want to deepen and start with the basics of yoga take a look at our ebook yoga for everyone