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Marichyasana C (pose of Marichi)

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How to do Marichyasana C

Begin in Dandasana (seated with your legs straight out in front).

Inhale: Bend your right leg and place the foot flat on the floor as close to the buttocks as possible.

Exhale: Turn the body about 90 degrees to the left so the chest comes beyond the bent right thigh. Bring your left arm across the body, bending at the elbow, and bring the upper arm to the outside of the right leg. Place the right hand on the floor behind you.

Inhale: Sit tall ensuring both buttocks have even contact with the floor.

Exhale: Use the pressure between the left arm and right thigh to rotate the spine to the right. Manoeuvre the left arm so the inner elbow comes around the shin and the forearm can reach the inner thigh. Slide the left hand around your back until you can catch the right wrist with the left hand.

Inhale: Stay where you are, ensure you are sat tall:

Exhale: Increase the twist (if comfortable / appropriate). You can increase the twist each time you exhale.

Hold for a number of breaths.

Exhale: Release the bind and return to Dandasana. Repeat on the left side.

When to avoid Marichyasana C

Avoid this pose if you have:

  • High or low blood pressure
  • Migraine or headache
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhoea
  • Or if you are pregnant

How to adapt Marichyasana C

Marichyasana C modification

This asana can be very difficult to access. Many practitioners will not take the bind and will instead bring the upper arm to the outside of the leg and breath here increasing the twist with each breath.

It can be challenging to maintain an upright spine if one or both buttocks lift when one of the legs is bent. Use blocks to raise the buttocks. Use one at first, but if this is not sufficient arrange the blocks in a pyramid so you can sit on the top block and place the heal of the bent leg on the bottom block.

Benefits of Marichyasana C

  • Improves the elasticity of the spine
  • Removes the rigidity of ligaments connected to the ribs.
  • Massages and stimulates abdominal organs
  • Can help alleviate backaches caused by muscular tension and pain in the hips
  • Massages the abdominal area
  • Can help relieve constipation and other digestive problems.
  • Combats fatigue
  • Can help with lower back ache and sciatica

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