Sage Marichi Twist Pose - Marichyasana

Marichyasana or the Sage’s pose is derived from the name of the sage Mariachi. Hindu mythology tells us that Mariachi is the son of Brahma and is one of the seven wise lords or rishis of creation who declare the divine law or dharma of the universe.

He is the great grandfather of Manu and the father of all humanity.

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It is a challenging twisting pose that is best done after the body has been warmed up. Twisting poses help to restore and maintain the suppleness and mobility of the spine. They penetrate deep into the core of the body, massage the internal organs and help to rejuvenate the body.

Steps

Here are the steps for the Sage Marichi Twist Pose.

  1. Start by sitting in the Dandasana or Staff Pose.
  2. Your upper torso and lower body should be at right angles to each other with your spine at right angles to the floor.
  3. The shoulders should be relaxed and the rib cage should be lifted up.
  4. Bend your right leg at the knee.
  5. Place your right foot flat on the floor with the heel as close to the right buttock as possible.
  6. Your left leg should remain extended and rotated slightly inwards with the thigh pressed downwards on the floor.
  7. You right arm should be behind you with the palm on the floor to help maintain your balance.
  8. Make sure your spine is stretched to its maximum and begin your twist.
  9. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, twist your torso towards the right.
  10. Your left arm should be bent with the hand pointing upwards.
  11. If possible, place the bent left elbow in the outer crook of the bent right knee.
  12. If you cannot accomplish this without losing your balance, then hold on to your outer right knee with your left hand.
  13. Your twist should be accomplished by revolving your spine and turning your stomach towards the bent right knee.
  14. Maintain your weight equally on both the inner and outer part of your right foot.
  15. Do not allow the right leg to be pushed either outwards or inwards from its original position.
  16. Maintain your weight equally on both of your sitting bones.
  17. Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds, twisting and lengthening with each breath.
  18. Return to the Dandasana position and repeat the pose in the opposite direction to complete a set.
  19. Do 5 sets, gradually increasing the duration of each set.

Precautions

These are some of the precautions you should take for the Sage Marichi Twist Pose.

  • Warm up your body before attempting this pose.
  • A good warm up exercise is “The Dog pose”. Perform this pose for a minute or two.
  • Perform this pose only under the supervision of an experienced teacher if you have had suffered from any kind of back or spinal injury.

Avoid this pose if you suffer from any of the following conditions.

  • Hypertension
  • Migraine
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea

Beginner’s Tip

Here are some beginner’s tips for Sage Marichi Twist Pose.

Try to remain firmly grounded during the entire pose. Do not lean towards the right and make sure your weight is spread evenly on both your sitting bones. It helps to sit on the edge of a slightly elevated surface such as a folded blanket.

Do not attempt the full pose if you are a beginner. It will distort your spine and exert damaging pressure on the inter-vertebral cartilage. Lengthen your spine while inhaling and increase the twist while exhaling.

Benefit to the Body

Benefits include:

  • Stretches the spine and the back muscles.
  • Increases the flexibility and strength of the spine.
  • Stretches and loosens the shoulder muscles.
  • Massages the internal organs and glands make them function effectively.
  • Opens up the breathing passages.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Helps to relieve fatigue and rejuvenates the body.
  • May help ease menstrual pain.

Therapeutic Applications

Marichyasana is useful in the following cases.

  • Digestive problems
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Menstrual pain
  • Asthma

Variations

Variations for Sage Marichi Twist Pose include:

The head may also be rotated in the direction opposite to the torso.

For the full pose, your hands have to be joined behind your back. This is how it is done.

  • Start the twist in a similar manner.
  • The upper portion of your right thigh should be brought into your left armpit as you revolve.
  • Then bend your left arm fully and reach behind your back with the fingers of the left hand.
  • Extend your right arm completely at shoulder level and swing it around behind your back.
  • Clasp the fingers of both your hands together.
  • While your hands are clasped, keep extending your spine and use your arms to increase the twist.
  • If your fingers cannot reach, hold a strap in the right hand and grasp the other end with the left.
  • Walk the fingers along the strap till they can meet and clasp.

Preparatory Poses

Preparatory Poses for Sage Marichi Twist Pose include:

  • “Baddha Konasana” or “ The Bound Angle Pose”
  • “Bharadvajasana” or “Bhadravaja’s Twist”
  • “Gomukhasana” or “The Cow- Face Pose”
  • “Janu Sirsasana” or “The Head To Knee Forward Bend”
  • “Supta Baddha Konasana” or “The Reclining Bound Angle Pose”
  • “Supta Padangusthasana” or “The Reclining Big Toe Pose”
  • “Upavistha Konasana” or “The Wide-Angled Seated Forward Bend”
  • “Virasana” or “The Hero’s Pose”

Follow Up Poses

Follow-Up Poses to Sage Marichi Twist Pose include:

  • “Ardha Matsyendrasana” or “The Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose”
  • “Baddha Konasana” or “The Bound Angle Pose”
  • “Padmasana” or “The Lotus Pose”
  • “Upavistha Konasana” or “The Wide-Angled Seated Forward Bend”
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