Marichyasana I | Sage Pose

Marichyasana I Pose dedicated to the sage Marichi I
(Mar-e-chi-as-ana)
Type of Pose: Seated, Twist

Benefits

• Calms the brain
• Stretches the spine and shoulders
• Stimulates abdominal organs like the liver and kidneys and improves digestion
• Helps remedy flatulence, constipation and obesity

Contraindications/Cautions

• Asthma
• Diarrhea

Step by Step

1. Sit in Dandasana. Bend the left knee and place the foot on the floor, with the heel as close to the left sitting bone as possible. Keep the right leg strong and rotated slightly inward, grounding the head of the thighbone into the floor. Press the back of the right heel and the base of the big toe away from the pelvis. Make sure the inner left thigh presses firmly against the left side of the torso. The foot can be either flexed or pointed.

2. As a preparation for the full pose, twist the torso to the right and press the back of the left shoulder against the inside of the left knee. Use this leverage to lengthen the left side of the torso along the thigh. Then gently unwind and face forward.

3. Reach the left arm forward and rotate it inwardly, so the thumb points to the floor and the palm faces out to the left. As you reach the left arm forward, lengthen the torso forward and snuggle the left shin into the armpit. Then on an exhalation, sweep the forearm around the outside of the leg. The left hand will press against the outside of the left thigh or buttock.

4. With another exhalation, sweep the right arm around behind the back. Clasp the right wrist in the left hand. Exhale and extend the torso forward from the groins, keeping the lower belly long. Lower the front torso as closely possible to the right leg. Be sure the shoulders don’t rise up into the ears; draw the shoulder blades actively down the back.

Beginner’s Tip: It is helpful for beginning students to sit up high on a bolster or thickly folded blanket to allow them to move more deeply into the forward bend in this pose. Beginners can also use a strap between the hands if there is some difficulty in clasping the hands behind the back.

Variations: Marichyasana I can be performed with a slightly different leg position. From Dandasana, bend both knees and place the feet on the floor, heels about a foot away from the sitting bones. Slide the right heel under the left leg to the outside of the left hip and lay the outer leg down on the floor. Then place the left heel just in front of the right ankle. Now perform the pose as described in the steps above.

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