Pose Dedicated To The Sage Marichi A, Marichyasana, (muh-ree-ch-yaa-suh-nuh I)
marichi (sage / ray of light) + asana (pose)
Also Known as: Marichi’s Pose
Pose Type: Stretching, Twisting, Seated
Fold into this pose to give your organs a gentle squeeze, to lengthen the spine, and to open the hips.
Pose Dedicated To The Sage Marichi A Fundamentals
Marichiyasana A is one of the poses included in the seated sequence of the Ashtanga primary series.
Like other poses in this sequence, Marichyasana A helps to release all the tension built up in the challenging class and to increase flexibility in the hamstrings and back.
Marichyasana A is followed by other variations of the same asana, which are named Marichyasana B, C, and D.
These poses are named after Marichi, a Hindu sage who is one of Brahma’s sons. Brahma is one of the three deities in the Hindu Trinity and represents creation.
Marichi and other Brahma’s sons were made with the role to complete the creation, and to translate Brahma’s words for humans, where he spoke about the law of the universe, called dharma.
Marichi is also believed to be the grandfather of the sun god Surya – and some yogis believe he actually created this series of asanas.
Furthermore, Marichi also translates to a ray of light, and represents one of the sun’s roles – he is the master of illusion and can help us overcome illusions. You can have that intention when practicing the pose – to focus inwards, concentrate, and think of your own delusions or dreams you still identify with.
The asana will also stimulate the first two energy centers – Root and Sacral Chakra, so you can also concentrate on them while practicing Marichyasana A.
Pose Dedicated To The Sage Marichi A Benefits
- Releases tension and improves flexibility in the hamstrings, calves, shoulder, and back.
- Compresses the internal organs, so it may help boost the function of the liver, kidneys, and digestive system. This in turn helps decrease symptoms such as constipation and bloating.
- Calms the nervous system, so it may help bring a sense of calmness and combat stress and anxiety.
- Boosts blood circulation, particularly in the abdominal region of the body.
How To Do Pose Dedicated To The Sage Marichi A: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
1. Sit in Dandasana or Staff Pose, with your feet in front of you and your spine long.
2. Now bend the left knee, placing the foot as close to your left hip as possible. Leave a small gap between the foot and the right thigh.
3. Your right leg will stay extended – flex the foot to engage the muscles.
4. Now reach your left arm forward, but don’t grab the right foot.
5. Instead, wrap the left arm around the left shin – you will need to slightly tilt forward to achieve that.
6. Then stretch your right arm up and open the chest towards the right.
7. Drop the right palm behind your back, trying to bind the left hand.
8. In this position, first, extend and open your chest, then bend forward, keeping the position of your arms. Gaze toward the left toes.
Note – your left hip doesn’t have to remain on the ground.
9. Hold the pose for around 5 breaths, then release. If you’re doing Ashtanga yoga, you will first go through a Vinyasa and then move to the other side. Otherwise, you can simply return to Staff Pose and then do the steps with the right leg bent.
Tips And Tricks:
- Your arms should be reaching toward each other, but you don’t have to bind them. You can use a strap or simply grab your shirt behind the back.
- Only fold forward until the point where you can still keep the extended leg straight – this will enhance the stretch in the hamstring.
- If you’re propping your hips on a blanket or cushion for good alignment in Staff Pose – do the same for Marichyasana A.
- Even if the hip of the bent leg lifts a bit – try to center your torso instead of leaning too much over the extended leg.
Pose Dedicated To The Sage Marichi A Variations:
With A Strap
If you can’t clasp your hands behind your back, you can simply reach them toward each other.
However, practicing with a strap or an alternative like a rolled shirt may be better if you want to work on opening the shoulders.
To practice with a strap, hold it at a length that’s comfortable. As you progress, walk your hands toward each other until you’re able to close the gap.
Without the Bind
If you have shoulder issues or find binding difficult for other reasons, you can still perform a variation of Marichyasana A without the bind.
You can place the left hand next to the left leg when it’s bent, and place the right hand next to the extended right leg.
Then, as you fold forward, bend the elbows, pushing the left arm against the bent leg.
Otherwise, you can also grab a hold of the extended foot with both arms – use a strap if you can’t reach it.
Although this variation won’t open your shoulders, it will still help you to soften the hips.
Marichyasana B is a more advanced progression to this pose – only enter it when you are able to bind the hands in Marichyasna A.
The bent leg and the bind are the same for both poses, however, in the B version, the opposite leg won’t be straight, but bent.
The foot will sit close to the opposite groin and the knee will open to the floor, as you would do for Easy Pose.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Rolling to one side. This is a seated pose, but it does require some balance, otherwise, you will collapse towards the side of the extended leg. Instead, aim your torso forward – moving the forehead away from the knee of the straight leg.
Forcing the forward bend. One of the reasons why beginners tend to fall to one side is that they are rushing to enter the deepest forward bend. Instead of trying to reach the forehead on the ground, intend to push your torso forward rather than downward.
Injuries and Other Contraindications
Practice with extra care or refrain from the pose entirely if you have problems in the lower back. Also, avoid it during pregnancy, and if you have a rotator cuff injury, endometriosis, fibroids, and cysts. If you have weak shoulders or an injury in the area, perform the pose without the bind.
Any of the other progressions of Marichyasana – B, C, or D
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
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