Happy Monday Yogis! We just wrapped up practices focused on the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today is the first of the holidays we will discuss for our special Holiday month, and we will cover a festive Asana – Malasana or Garland Pose, often referred to as a “yoga squat.”
Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule
We will start soon by counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing). Then we will have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.
Holiday Season – Krampusnacht
We are celebrating a special Yamas / Interpersonal Ethics focused month. December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!
Today is the first holiday for this season I am going to share – Krampusnacht! I have been into world history and traditions for many years, and Krampusnacht is the most amusing December holiday to me.. partly because of the name “Krampus” which makes me giggle. This holiday is seriously like the Nightmare before Christmas!
Krampusnacht is celebrated primarily in Bavarian mountain towns the evening before St. Nicholas Day. This is a different European Christmas tradition than we are familiar with in the United States. St. Nicholas Day, celebrated earlier in December, is the day for gifts from St. Nicholas or Father Christmas – for only good children. The bad children do not get coal… they were either stolen, eaten, or scared straight by the monstrous Krampus the evening before!
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Asana – Malasana or Garland Pose. This pose is great to counter sitting at a desk all day!
Malasana – Garland Pose
This is a deep hip opener – make sure to practice a bit before attempting this pose! This seemingly simple pose is a journey pose, and you will begin to move your torso forward as your chest and hips open with practice!
- Start standing in Tadasana / Mountain Pose.
- Step your feet out a bit wider than hip-distance, and turn your toes out 45 degrees.
- Bend your knees and slowly come into a full low squat.
- Bring your arms forward between your knees, and bring palms together into a prayer position, pressing elbows into thighs.
- Press gently into thighs and bring your chest forward.
- Take note of your head and neck – keep in line with your torso
- Take note of where your weight is in your feet, both front to back and side to side. Keep even side to side, and keep most weight in your heels.
- Hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. Begin with holding 30-60 seconds, and work up to 3-5 minutes!
If you have tight hips and knees, or have trouble balancing here, you may want to sit on a block for support.
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