I’ve found that I use the yogi Squat a lot during my yoga flows, especially because I love a good hip opening sequence. So I figured it would only be fair to give you my 3 best tips on modifications if you aren’t quite there yet.
Benefits of Yogi Squats
The Yogi Squat or Malasana, stretches your ankle joint, and is great for improving the range of motion in your ankle. It also stretches through the adductors or inner thighs, and down the back body – from your lower back through the glutes into your hamstrings. Holding this squat can feel calming, and help you find peace and stillness. (Obviously once you are into a comfortable pose.)
What you must remember is that everyone’s anatomy is totally different, so please don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Whilst some people will find this pose easy, others may have to acclimate their bodies to the pose. So if you are not quite in the Yogi Squat yet, try these 3 modifications to help build your squat and explore different ways of getting into the pose and making it work for you.
1. Sit on a block
This option is particularly good if you are in a class and the yogi squat is mid-flow. You can grab a brick or block and place it underneath you as you enter this pose. It will help to take the strain off of your knees, and also help with balance. By using the block it still helps maintain the rest of the pose by encouraging a straight spine, lifting through the chest, stretching through the lower back body and the opening of the hips and inner thighs.
2. Boost with a block or blanket
The reason that most people find it hard to place the heels down is because of the deep ankle stretch that this pose requires. It really does help boost the range of motion into your ankle joint.
However, If you are finding that you are lifting your heels off the ground to compensate for this pose, then try to place a block or blanket underneath your heels. It will help provide support and in turn enable you to take your weight into the heels.
3. Use your arms
Usually within the yogi squat you will be asked to place your palms together in prayer position, with the ability to use your elbows to place pressure on on your inner knees. In-turn this will help to open through the hips and stretch the inner thighs. Try to take the hands to the floor and explore different avenues of what feels good for you. Take both hands behind you, both hands in front, or even one hand in front and one behind.
Consistency is key
To really get the most out of your yogi squat, consistency is key. Practice is as part of your daily life and find what works for you. In turn you will start to notice improvement within the pose. For a full explanation of the yogi pose, and all modifications check out my full follow along tutorial here.