Marichyasana I

I’ve recently tried to add Ashtanga into my practice for at least 2 times a week.  I love this yoga style because it instills discipline into my practice.  It likewise challenges me out of my comfort zone.  My favorite pose in the primary series is Marichyasana I, a pose dedicated to the sage Marichi.

I love this pose because it targets the hips.  My hips are the most inflexible part of my body and I really need to work a lot on this area.  The pose likewise focuses on the shoulders, abdomen, hamstrings, groins, bladder, kidneys, and liver.  I also love this pose because it loosens my tight shoulders, particularly after a long, long, day at work sitting in front of a computer.  When I come to this pose, I feel it most on my shoulders.

Here’s a step by step instruction from the Yoga Journal 

Step by Step

Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose). Bend your left knee and place the foot on the floor, with the heel as close to the left sitting bone as possible. Keep the right leg strong and rotated slightly inward, grounding the head of the thighbone into the floor. Press the back of the right heel and the base of the big toe away from the pelvis. Make sure the inner left thigh presses firmly against the left side of the torso.

As a preparation for the full pose, twist your torso to the right and press the back of the left shoulder against the inside of the left knee. Use this leverage to lengthen the left side of the torso along the thigh. Then gently unwind and face forward.

Reach your left arm forward and rotate it inwardly, so the thumb points to the floor and the palm faces out to the left. As you reach the left arm forward, lengthen your torso forward and snuggle the left shin into the armpit. Then on an exhalation, sweep the forearm around the outside of the leg. The left hand will press against the outside of the left thigh or buttock.

Marichyasana With another exhalation, sweep the right arm around behind your back. Clasp the right wrist in the left hand. Exhale and extend your torso forward from the groins, keeping the lower belly long. Lower the front torso as closely as possible to the right leg. Be sure the shoulders don’t scrunch up into the ears; draw the shoulders blades actively down your back.

Stay in position for 30 seconds to a minute, then come up as you inhale. Repeat on the other side for the same length of time.

How about you, do you like this pose?  Let me know what you think!


Thank you Nichi Green of Ekhart Yoga for your lovely videos.  I simply love your instructions.

2 thoughts on “Marichyasana I

  1. I used to have trouble moving my torso forward in this pose with my hand entwined. Then my teacher showed me I could first hold the foot with both hands, and bend the elbows like in Janu Sirsasana. Once the torso is down, then entwine the arms. It’s sort of a reverse way of doing it, but I haven’t stopped teaching it that way since. Best wishes in your practice and great post!

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