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The hip-opening yoga pose that helps Lena Dunham get down


Yoga poses fall into a range of categories. There are the showy ones, like headstands, that are just asking to be Instagrammed. Then there are the ones that—while they may feel good and definitely serve a functional purpose—look slightly more awkward. The malasana squat is definitely the latter.

“This is to be done among friends—or at a party when you drop it down low,” says Lena Dunham, Girls star and pro-malasana squatter, as she makes clear in the latest episode of “Lena Dunham Does Yoga”.

She’s got a point: As Dunham’s yogi-BFF Beth Cooke notes, it’s your natural child-birthing (and squat toilet!) position. In other words, not the ideal pose to pull out when you’re in front of, say, a crush.

But according to Cooke malasana squat is incredibly grounding, good for releasing the emotions you store in your hips, and it gives you the poise and flexibility necessary for, well, breaking it down on the dance floor. (Hey, that comes in handy sometimes!)

Watch the episode of “Lena Dunham Does Yoga” above—and if you want to figure out how to do your own malasana squat, here are Cooke’s pointers:

1. Step wide and bring your hands to heart center.

2. Use your elbows to press your knees back.

3. Bring your heels down to the ground—use a block if needed.

4. Lift your heart.

5. With every inhale, open your chest up; with every exhale let go of everything you don’t need.

Our brand-new video series “Lena Dunham Does Yoga” features none other than Lena Dunham and her yoga instructor BFF Beth Cooke going with the flow at home. Because when the actress-director-writer (and burgeoning yogi!) invites you to her Brooklyn apartment for an afternoon of vinyasa—and totally unfiltered girl talk—you grab your mat. Tune in for new episodes of the series every day, all week long.

To perfect your dancing in other ways, work it out with Tracy Anderson’s J.Lo-inspired cardio routine. And this is everything you need to know about the dance world, according to Jaime King

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