How To Do Marichi Pose I (Marichyasana ‘A’)

Acquiring its name from the sage Marichi, Marichyasana is a great bending and twisting pose in the series of Ashtanga Yoga. With four variations, namely A, B, C, and D or I, II, III, IV, Marichyasana A is also a dedication to the sage Marichi, who gave birth to this form. In Sanskrit, Marichi translates to a ray of light, while Indian Mythology has a different tale to tell, where Marichi is one of the sons of Brahma (One of the lords from the Holy Trinity; Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh), who is the divine creator and was brought to life, in order to rule over the shining ones.

Myriad benefits come to life by practicing this reformative and corrective posture. We will discuss here the variations, Marichyasana A in the four variation series of Marichyasana, a step-by-step guide to performing the pose, with its benefits, contraindications, modifications, and advantages of Yoga Marichyasana A.

Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Perform Marichyasana A

Step 1:  Be seated in Dandasana or the Staff Pose by extending the legs in front. Practitioners with tight hamstrings can roll a blanket and sit on it to get an extra leverage and space in the back.

Step 2: Starting with the right side, bend the left knee and place the left foot close to the sit bones and in line with the right hip. The right leg will be heavily pressed on the floor. The knee will be pulled back, while the right toe will be pointing towards the ceiling and the right heel will firmly stick to the floor to create an active outlook.

Step 3: Moving forward, twist the torso to the right side, and extend the left side of the torso. This will help you to perform the pose more easily and smoothly. By bending slightly forward, place the left shoulder close to the left knee.

Step 4: Extend the left arm and rotate it inwards in a manner that the thumb is facing the floor, the palm faces out and back towards the left side. Lengthening the arm further, place the left knee in or close to the armpit of the left arm and wrap it on the left side of the body, all the way to the back to place the top of the lower arm in the air, near the buttock or the lower back.

Step 5: On the other hand, the right arm will twist in an inward direction as well, with thumb facing down and the palm facing the right side of the body, to wrap the right side of the back. Both the hands will now interlock or the left hand will hold the right wrist, whichever is comfortable to the practitioner.

Step 6: Further, elongating the spine from the sacrum, the torso will bend down in an exhalation to place the forehead on the right shin. The right foot will be activated at all times and the shoulder blades are drawn away from the ears.

Step 7: Stay in the pose for 3 to 5 breaths and gradually build your way through this pose to increase the number of breaths. Now, perform the pose on the left side of the body.

Modifications & Variations

  • The yoga of Marichyasana A can be twisted. Beginners can find it difficult to go all the way down in the forward fold and hence can be seated on a rolled blanket or a mat to gain length in the torso. Also, if they are unable to place the forehead on the shin, they can bring the torso forward like in step 6 and stay in the air. Rounding or scrunching the shoulders or bending the neck defeats the purpose of the pose and must not be carried out any time.
  • If the students are unable to clasp both the hands initially, they can simply hold a belt with both the hands in Step 5 and work towards opening the shoulders in other poses, which is resolve the inability to hold hands in Marichyasana A

Marichyasana Yoga Benefits & Advantages

  • The forward extension massages the organs in the abdomen and is great to overcome problems of flatulence, constipation, and disease related to kidney, liver, bladder, and intestines. Also, as the stomach is pressed, it can be said that this posture helps in reducing belly fat.
  • Again, the forward bending motion of yoga Marichyasana A is great to curb stress and anxiety as the flow of the blood enhances in the body.
  • Placement of the forehead on the shin activates the Third Eye Chakra in the body and enhances intuitive powers of the practitioners
  • The pose works beautifully on the shoulders and extends the chest, thereby strengthening the shoulders and adding flexibility in the body
  • It is also a mild twisting pose of the spine allowing spine flexibility and suppleness

Contraindications

  • Marichyasana A should be avoided by the practitioners suffering from High or Low BP
  • People suffering from a migraine or a headache should not perform the pose or hold it for a limited duration

People suffering from diarrhea and other stomach infection related issues should also avoid this pose for the time being

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