Photo : Sri Krishnamachayra
Marichy: Sage Indien
Asana : Posture
Seated posture, forward fold.
Family : Hips opener and shoulder.
Level : For beginner use a yoga belt – can be intermediate level.
There are seven versions of Marichyasana which are A, B, C, D, E, F and G.
The most practiced are A, B, C and D.
The version A and B are forward fold.
Version C and D are twisting poses.
a) Bend at the right knee and bring the right heel toward the right sit bone. Often the instruction of bringing a fist distance between both legs is given.
Personally I prefer to practice it from Dandasana, therefore there is no need to separate the leg. That does not mean that the right heel will be touching the inner tight of the left leg.
It is just aligned with the right sit bone.
By doing so, the distance between the two legs is more “natural”.
b) Bring the right arm up and wrap it below the right knee, touching your back.
c) Left arm will roll behind your back, meeting the right hand.
d) Right hand will catch fingers or wrist from the left hand.
e) Fold forward.
Everyone is different and so the practice. If there is enough flexibility the chin will be brought toward the left leg. You can also bring the forehead.
In connection with it, the drishti will be different.
If the chin is on the leg then it will be : Angusta Drishti (the toes).
If this is the forehead : Nasagra Drishti (the nose).
Same asana for two different level of practice.
With the first one, the back will be flat. With the second one the back will be slightly rounded for the activation of the Bandhas.
If you are new to the asana, then just look forward.
This asana has to be worked and practiced before adding the Bandhas.
Intention into the Asana
The arm wrapping the leg is pressing it, while the leg is creating a resistance. The right shoulder is facing front.
The right foot is pushing against and forward, this will allow the forward fold by lengthening first the upper body, middle and lower back.
The two sit bones are in contact with the ground. Pelvis firmly anchor to the ground.
Also, the right sit bone can be lifted, in order to deepen the forward fold, however once the flexibility is there, try to bring it back down.
An asana is a never ending story, always there is progression to it.
Instead of arching the lower back to fold front, it is better to keep the pelvis into a neutral position.
If the forward fold is starting from the lumbar spine, the range of movement will be minimise.
The left shoulder should be on the same line that the right shoulder. Therefore hips and shoulders are facing front.
A little controversy ?
I am really into the work of Sri Krishnamacharya, as I do consider him as the great master and the creator of Ashtanga Yoga Vinyasa and specially of Vinyasa Krama.
Therefore, I was surprised to see the picture of Sri Krishnamacharya in Marichyasana A.
Can you see something bothering you in that picture?
I’ve always been told, wether I practiced with Mark Robberds, Ramesh Shetty, Sharat Jois, Iain Grysak, Damien de Bastier, Yogi Trupta : The wrapper, the grabber…..
However in that particular picture, that is not the case….. it is the left arm grabbing the right wrist… Is there any reason to it?
I did not find it.
Does it change the practice?
I’ve tried both, the answer is no.
Hips Opener asana
Marichyasana A is the perfect example showing that working the hips opening is not only necessary by separating both legs in order to achieve a split.
This asana is working the hips and the shoulders.
If you are a teacher and teaching “Hips Openers” class then you might think of adding that asana to your module.