68/100 ~ Garland Pose / Yoga Squat (Malasana) – Mmmmm… Here’s a nice little pose for opening the hips and relieving low back pain.

Benefits: This pose opens the hips and groin; stretches the ankles, legs and back; tones the torso; and improves digestion. Garland pose also keeps the pelvis and hip joints healthy, making it an ideal posture for prenatal yoga.

How to: Step your feet a little wider than your hips, with your toes angled slightly outward. Squat down, bringing the hands together in front of the heart and pressing your elbows to the insides of the knees. Draw the knees into the elbows and keep pressing the elbows into the knees. Relax your shoulders away from the ears and enjoy this stretch for a few breath cycles.

Modification: If your heels lift up when you squat down, try stepping your feet further apart, or create a supported version. I use a stack of two yoga blocks to rest my sit bones on. The pose may feel more welcoming this way, and you can still benefit from the stretch.

Mantra: “I keep showing up and doing my best.”

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