Garland Pose (or Squat), in Sanskrit Malasana (from mala: 'garland', and asana: 'posture') is a great hip-opener, that stretches and strengthens the back, ankles and core muscles. Starting in a squatting position (with feet close together and heels on the floor if possible). The torso leans gently forward with the thighs slightly wider than the torso. The inner arms or elbows are pressed against the inner knees, and the palms are together at the heart. The spine is straight and the shoulders relaxed. Beginners can find a rolled-up mat under the heels a helpful prop.