Pose Dedicated To The Sage Marichi B, Marichyasana, (muh-ree-ch-yaa-suh-nuh B)
marichi (sage / rsi mareechi / ray of light) + asana (pose)
Also Known as: Marichi’s Pose, Sage Twist Pose B
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 B Fundamentals
Marichyasana B is the second of the four Marichiyasana poses practiced in the seated sequence of Ashtanga primary series.
It builds upon Marichiyasana A, as it, along with the forward fold and bind, also requires one leg to be in half lotus. In Marichyasana A the leg is straight, which makes it more suitable for beginners.
The difficulty of this pose will depend on your flexibility, anatomy, and experience. It may be easy for some students, and very challenging for others.
However, there are modifications students can try if the pose is difficult, which we will describe later in the articles. These will help you to slowly build your way into Marichyasana B in a way that is safe and not painful.What makes this hip opening pose unique is that it simultaneously combines external rotation in one hip, and internal in the other. It also combines this with a forward bend and core strengthening, challenging your body in multiple ways at once. That also means it will bring several benefits and a sense of deep release throughout your body.
Since the pose is complex, it will help you work on connecting your movement to breath and stay focused and attentive in your practice. Often, it is the more challenging poses that help us become more present in our practice.
Marichiyasana poses get their name from the sage Marichi, who is believed to discover these asanas.
He is one of the sons of God Brahma, the creator. Marichi is a master of illusions, who aids willing humans to awaken from their delusions.
Therefore, you can dedicate your practice to gaining the courage to overcome your own dreams and delusions.
Marichyasana B & Energetics
Energetically, the combination of a bind and a forward bend helps to increase the inflow and outflow of energy in the body, which purifies the body and mind and balances the nervous system.
Marichiyasana B stimulates Manipura (Solar Plexus) chakra, helping to boost your sense of confidence and willpower.
Marichyasana B Benefits
- This pose releases the tension from the hips and Sacroilicac joint and increases the mobility of the shoulders and prepares the body for deep hip-opening and back-bending poses.
- The forward fold and the foot pressing into the lower abdomen also stimulate the reproductive system. The pose may boost its function and help women who struggle with painful menstruation.
- By binding the arm, we expand the chest, which may help us work on taking more complete breaths, boosting the efficiency of the respiratory system
- The complexity of the pose aids students to work on their focus, concentration, and awareness.
Marichyasana B: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
- Begin in Staff Pose, sitting on your hips with your legs extended in front of you.
- Now bend your right leg into half lotus, placing the foot onto the groin of the opposite thigh.
- Bend the left leg, so that the foot is on the ground close to the outer edge of your left hip, and the knee is facing up.
- When you’re ready, extend your left arm forward, moving the shoulder in front of the left knee.
- Wrap the left arm around the left shin, and bring the right hand behind your back, trying to clasp your hands. If it’s available to you, you can try holding the right wrist with the left hand.
- Keep your torso close to the bent leg, and keep your chest lifted.
- Now fold forward, moving your torso between the right knee and the left foot.
- Hold the pose for 5 breaths. Slowly release the hands, uncross the legs and move back to Staff Pose. Then go through a Vinyasa Flow, or go straight to the other side.
Tips And Tricks:
- In many seated poses, we are instructed to keep both sit bones on the mat, but that is not true for Marichyasana B. In this asana, move your weight forward, and lift the hip of the leg that’s in the squat off the ground. Keep the other hip on the floor.
- By lifting the opposite hip off the ground, you will also be able to keep the knee in lotus on the ground.
- Keep leaning forward and keep your back as long as possible.
- Even if you don’t practice Ashtanga yoga, perform Marichyasana A before Marichyasana B, to prep your body for the pose.
- Perform the pose at a later portion of your class, when your body is warm and open.
- If it’s difficult to bind or keep the leg in half lotus – don’t force it – do one of the below variations instead.
Marichyasana B Variations:
With A Strap
Another way to modify the pose is to use a strap. This variation is great for those who struggle to bind their hands behind the back.
For this variation, grab the strap with your hands, and slowly walk them toward each other until you reach your edge.
With continuous practice, you will slowly close the gap between your hands, and be able to bind them. This offers a more natural and safer progression than forcing the hands into a bind.
Easy Pose Instead of Lotus
You can still experience most of the effects of this pose without placing one leg in half-lotus.
Simply place the foot behind the other foot, instead on top of the thigh.
This is a much safer and more accessible option for those who have tight hips or find the half-lotus painful and uncomfortable.
With a Yoga Block
This modification is perfect for those who have tight hips and want to protect their lower back in Marichyasana B.
While you’re still in Dandasana sit on a block with the hip that has the leg in half-lotus.
Then follow all the other steps from this pose. The other hip will lift off the floor like in a classic version of the pose, but raising one hip on the block will make it much easier to enter deeper into the pose.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Rolling the torso back or to the side. Aim your torso forward and keep it long. This will deepen the bend and also help you maintain balance in the pose.
Opening the foot to the side. The foot of the leg that’s in a squat should face forward as much as possible, and avoid opening it to the side.
It would be best to avoid the pose if you have an injury in the knees, hips, shoulders, and ankles. If you have had surgery on these areas in the past, also check with your physician before attempting the pose.
Half Bound Lotus Forward Bend
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