Yes, Malasana Pose is just a squat and it's great for you!
This yoga pose is a simple one, all that's required is squatting. It may be hard to believe but squatting would qualify as a lost art and it's very human. We believe that squatting originated in India and Asia. Of course, humans began squatting long before the creation of chairs and other furniture. If you took a quick trip to India, you will still find many squatting in the streets as they work and spend their days.
If you watch a baby, it becomes quickly apparent that squatting is a natural human trait. Toddlers and young children spend much time in the squatted position as they rest and play. It appears that from a very early age, we know that squatting is much better for us than sitting. Unfortunately, most of us have embraced a life of chairs and desks. Fortunately, we have yoga and this simple pose.
Malasana is the Sanskrit name for this posture. The breakdown for the Sanskrit name is as follows, "Mala" meaning "Garland", and "Asana" meaning "Posture or Pose". Some believe that "Garland" refers to the arms hanging around the neck like a necklace. As a result, this pose is also called Garland Pose and many simply refer to the posture as "Yogi Squat".
It's likely a little surprising that a squat could even be considered a yoga pose, and even more surprising that it's a part of our human nature. However, it's hard to deny. As mentioned earlier, this yoga pose offers tremendous health benefits and they're attainable for even beginner yoga students.