Our pose of the month, Marichyasana or Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi, is a famous sage, the son of Brahma and also the great-grandfather of Manu. Marichi translates to “ray of light,”  and this pose has several asana variations which include a twist or a fold. There are many benefits to these postures including stretching the shoulders and spine, stimulating and massaging the abdominal organs, improving digestion, strengthening and elongating the spine, as well as calming the mind.
After warming up with several standing postures followed by a few sitting postures, Marichyasana I is a fold with one knee high. From Dandasana (Staff Pose), bend one knee placing the sole of the foot on the floor as close to the sitting bone and inner opposite thigh, and flex the foot of the extended leg, keeping it stable. Bind your arms around the lifted knee and fold forward, reaching your forehead towards your knee, keeping the torso and spine long and centering your sternum over the extended leg.
After a few breaths in this fold, rise up and twist into the raised knee for Marichyasana III. In this twist, one are can simply hug the knee/leg with the other arm behind the lower back on the mat for support (or at a wall). For a deeper arm variation, bind one arm around the raised knee meeting the other as it comes from behind the lower back.
Marichyasana II, is a fold similar to the first version, except instead of one extended leg on the mat, the knee is bent with its heel close to the opposite sitting bone or the bottom leg is in lotus (foot/ankle sandwiched in the opposite hip crease).
The use of props, such as a blanket under the sitting bones or a strap to work towards the binds may make these postures more comfortable. With all these variations, be careful of the sensations in your body and be kind to your hips and knees as not to injure your precious joints. Mindfully bow down towards your inner light and twist embracing the subtle changes.

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