Definition - What does Malasana mean?
Malasana is a squatting yoga posture that benefits the hips, lower back and digestive system. It also stimulates the sacral chakra, which governs sexuality.
To perform this asana, the feet are spread shoulder-width apart and the hands are held in namaskar mudra (prayer pose). The practitioner squats without moving the hands or feet. In more advanced variations, the yogi may stretch out the arms or place them behind the body.
Malasana is also called garland pose in English.
Yogapedia explains Malasana
The name for this pose is said to come from the Sanskrit root mala, meaning "garland" or "rosary." However, this is a mistranslation. Pronounced with a long "a" sound, mala means "garland," while pronounced with a short "a" sound, it translates to "excrement." This is the true origin of the pose name, as it resembles the posture taken in ancient India to eliminate waste.
Practicing malasana opens the hips, relaxes the lower back, and activates the calves and glutes. It also helps boost metabolism, stoke the digestive fire, and alleviate constipation.
In addition to these physical benefits, malasana activates the svadisthana (spleen or sacral) chakra, which influences both the practitioner's sexuality and their feelings.
Malasana is also a grounding pose that stimulates the apana vayu, or the downward-flowing eliminating prana energy. By tapping into this energy, the yogi can deal with whatever physical, spiritual or emotional issues are holding him/her back.
This is a popular asana with newcomers, as it is relatively simple to perform. However, it is also used extensively by more experienced yogis.