Yoga tidbits: squat-talk

Today’s yoga tidbits: squat-talk also known as a variety of names (malasana, garland, goddess, yogi squat, deep squat, etc). Personally, I rarely teach poses by their name. I love the beauty of Sanskrit and the power behind the shapes of their English translation, I tend to reserve my breath and voice for body parts in motion. I have found that my body responds to target areas, what’s happening, where, and how to modify.
This deep squat for most is tough! It is opening the groin, hip and inner thigh area. Stretches the lower hamstrings, back, neck, and ankles. It can be a lot of compression for the ankles too, a bone thing, which is something that may prevent you from dropping your bum close to the earth. Pictured here are different-looking shapes that offer similar target-area stretches and benefits. If the deep, low squat is not your jam, try something new:
- you can roll a blanket or your mat under your heels for lift to relieve ankle compression. Same blanket can be placed behind your knees for a squeeze.
- sit on a bench or prop your bum on blocks.
- send your bum way back behind you, bringing your chest forward.
- drop your knees, like you would for a toe-stretch, with your knees wide.
- or take the tops of your feet down, knees wide, for a chest-lifted child’s pose variation.
Surely, these all look slightly different, when we focus on a target area, we begin to move our body in a way that feels right. It doesn’t mean we have to always go for a pictured posture, or cue, or what our neighbor next to us in class is doing. You are your best teacher, your body is your best cue. It will always give you feedback and a single posture can come with a family of shapes and variations.