Yoga Poses

Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi I Marichyasana A

Steps

Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi I is a seated forward bend with a bind. The pose is named after Sage Marichi was one of the 10 original ‘wise men’ of yoga. Marichi means ray of light (sun or moon). There are four variations of Marichi (A B C D) included in the Ashtanga Primary series and twice as many as that in the advanced series.

Begin from staff pose with the legs extended (dandasana). Bend the left leg and place the foot sole flat on the ground. Place the right hand, palm down next to the right hip. Raise the left arm, fingers to sky. Stretch the crown and sternum forward as you fold down, bringing the left arm to the inside of the knee. Keep stretching the left arm forward, until the arm pit makes contact with the shin. Wrap the arm back around the leg. Bring the right arm around the back waist and clasp hand to wrist. Extend the head crown and sternum forward, and then fold over the right leg, nose to knee.

To exit the pose, release the arm bind. Place both palms on either side of the hips. Unfold and return to staff pose. Repeat other side

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Marichyasana is an energising pose, expanding the chest and lungs, while massaging the intestine and abdominals. When in the full pose, visualise a white ray of light (from sun or moon) flooding the body with energy. You might combine with breathing mediation  inhale light, exhale energy.

Technical Comments

To prepare for the pose, stabilise the hips by sitting evenly on the sit bones, drawing the flesh out to the sides.  Place both hands to either side of hips to extend and straighten the spine. Create space by drawing the belly button towards the spine (without tensing the belly). At the same time, relax the shoulders away from ears. Inhale to raise the arm and exhale to fold forward and bind. Avoid rounding the back or compressing neck by keeping eye gaze towards the toes of extended leg. Flex the foot of the extend leg; press the heel of bent leg into the floor. Breathe normally.

Benefit Comments

  • Stretches and strengthens spine
  • Stimulates spinal nerves and improves circulation to back muscles
  • Tones and massages internal organs, stimulates liver and kidney function
  • Stretches hamstrings
  • Improves flexibility of shoulders, hips and wrists
  • Calms the mind

Watch Out For:

  • Rounding back
  • Uneven or rolling hips
  • Straining neck or shoulder in bind

Contraindications

  • Asthma
  • Digestive problems

Modifications

  • Sit on block
  • Place blanket or wedge under rolling hip
  • Use strap to bind arms

Variations

  • Twisted Marichi - Seated with left leg bent, bring left arm (elbow bent) to inside of left knee, right hand to back of right hip, twist torso and turn head to right. Repeat other side
  • Bent legs Marichi – Seated with left leg bent, foot sole flat, right leg bent with outer thigh along the ground and foot sole facing left ankle. Repeat other side.
  • Standing Marichi –From Mountain pose, bend the left knee, wrap left arm around knee and bind with right. Repeat other side.
  • Reclining Marichi – Lying on back bend left knee to chest, hold with left hand, lift nose to knee

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Cobblers pose
  • Seated forward bend

Written By: Brenda Hamlet

Brenda Hamlet is a RYT 200 yoga teacher and journalist. More information about Brenda can be found at https://www.facebook.com/brendahamletyoga

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