Download a guide to this pose. (PDF)
Marichyasana A –This pose is named after the sage Marichi (meaning ray of light). In Hindu mythology Marichi is the son of Brahma, the Creator, and the grandfather of Surya, the Sun God.
The Marichyasana series, a series of four poses, are first and foremost hip openers. The binding action of the arms rehabilitates shoulders-realigning, strengthening, and stretching around the shoulder joint. Also, lower and mid back pain and compression are relieved by this series of poses. As we bend forward with our leg bent, it is as if we are doing a mini “leg behind head” pose. The binding action of these asana also serve to inhibit the overly zealous–when bound you are unable to push yourself too deep into the poses 😉 Marichyasana A helps to open the hips and prepare our bodies for Marichyasana B.
- From Downward dog, hop through to Dandasana.
- Bend your right knee sliding your heel up toward your right hip. Keep your right foot away from your left inner thigh by about 1-2 hand widths, so the foot is back by the right hip. If possible bend your knee fully so that your calf meets your thigh. If tightness makes it difficult for you to sit straight in this position, hug your right knee, sit tall and breathe! (See picture of Steph)
- Place your left had behind you for support; stretch your right arm forward leaning your torso inside your right thigh, try to keep your thigh in close to your side. If you have tightness you can stay here for the pose.
- Catch your left foot with your right hand (if possible) and pull your body gently forward with an exhale, again you can stay here for the pose working the stretch in your hips and back. See picture of Sally.
- Internally rotate your right shoulder turning your palm upward, wrap your arm around your right leg, trying to get your shoulder as low as possible on your shin (ideally it should be about mid-way between your knee and ankle), if your elbow goes past your shin you can wrap your arm around your back as your bring your left arm around your back and clasp your fingers or wrists. Right palm should be turned away from the body. (See picture of Meagan) If possible catch your left wrist with your right hand and keep both palms turned away from your body making a soft fist with your left hand. (See picture of Marisol)
- Inhale extend your spine leaning into your left buttock for grounding, exhale come forward over your left thigh, touching forehead, chin, or chest to your left thigh and trying to extend or flatten your spine over your leg, pay attention to not rounding the upper back but to creating length in the spine reaching the crown of your head toward your foot. To deepen the posture you can ease your right sitting bone toward the floor as well.
- Drishti is toes, however if your forehead is down you can shift the gaze to your nose.
- Stay here for 5 deep breaths.
- Inhale come up, take vinyasa and switch sides.
The Marichyasana series cures gaseous movements in the stomach and intestines, with that flatulence, indigestion, and constipation are eliminated and digestive power is restored. These asana also directly benefit the kidneys. These poses relieve pain from menstruation and strengthen the womb allowing a woman to carry a child strongly-miscarriage due to weakness is cured, although pregnant women should not practice these asana after the second month of pregnancy. The Manipura chakra (third chakra) is purified and strengthened with these asana.