Marichyasana, my favourite Asana.

Yes, for someone as flexible as me Marichyasana A,B,C,D is pretty easy to get into. A million times easier than Kakasana, well at least for me as my core and upper body strength is fairly weak after my recent delivery. A million times I tried, a billion times I smash face first onto the floor. Everyday I told myself, its coming… well…

It is now my forth week in this TTC journey and I have just come to realize that all my favourite poses involves spinal twisting. Interestingly, it is only recently as well that I noticed I have been twisting my spine as a bodily relief from fatigue. Somehow, even while I’m sleeping, I could wake up every single night just to feel that ‘click’ from spinal twisting and back to lala-land with a sense of jollification. Having said that, my chosen pose for this topic is the Marichyasana series, mostly focusing on the anatomy features and the physiological benefits of series C and D.

Before I dive down into the asana, here are some phenomenal benefits about twisting postures. In general, twists are postures that generally involve moving the shoulder girdle to face in an opposing direction in relation to the hips.

1)   When you are in a twist, you will be surprised to find out that you are compressing your digestive organs and causing a lack of circulation. As soon as you release your twist there will be a rush or fresh blood that will flood your digestive organs. Fresh blood flow transports fresh oxygen and nutrients. Twisting will increase blood flow to the digestive organs, thus increasing their ability to function.

2)   The flow of fresh blood helps to cleanse the cells of any built up waste because with increased circulation comes increased cellular detoxification. It will also assist to move stagnated impurities and gas through your digestive tract.

3)   The muscles and other tissues that surround the spine can become stiff overtime. This will lead to a decreased range of motion, pain and discomfort that can really affect quality of life. Practicing twisting postures helps to keep the spinal muscles mobile, helping to keep you mobile as well.

4)   Most of us, on a daily basis tend to slouch when working in the office and sit in chairs that offer poor back support or stand with our shoulders drooping forward. All of these habits can lead to back problems. Twists stretch and strengthening back muscles provide reliefs from the back pain caused in our everyday life.

5)   Twists are wonderful postures if you deal with stress or anxiety. These postures will help to open the chest, shoulders and back, all of which can help to decrease feelings of anxiousness as they quiet the chattering mind and draws you back into the present moment which slows and calms the mind.

 

Now back to Marichyasana C, this twist involves the upper body turning out and the lower body turning in. This seated twist has many important benefits such as toning the belly organs (such as the liver and intestines), helps relieve lower back stiffness and keeps the intervertebral disks supple. The most essential part to do this asana properly is to be seated in Dandasana. Very few people can accomplish sitting on the floor with their legs stretched straight in front of the torso. You’ll likely notice that your tailbone sinks backward so it’s closer to the floor than your pubis, and that your lower back rounds. If you twist or bend forward from this slumped position, you’ll put pressure on your spinal disks, which could lead to injury.

 

Here’s how you get into the asana. From the correct alignment of Dandasana, bend your right knee as close to your chest. Ensure that you are dorsi flexing your straight leg foot as you would need to keep them as engaged as possible. Slowly twist to your right, breath in and engage your Uddiyana Bandha and twist further locking your right triceps on the right side of your right knee. Ensure that your hips are still squared and your straight leg is still is still flat on the floor with toes dorsi flexed. Now rotate your right hand inwards and extend before bending your elbows around your right leg and grab hold of the left hand. It is important that your shoulders are in a straight line keeping your chest forward.

 

If this feels good, try Marichyasana D, my favourite asana in the whole of the Ashatange primary series. The procedure is the same except, before bending right knee close to chest, place your left leg in half lotus. Many asanas represent a combination or culmination of several yoga poses. Marichyasana D encompasses both the hip and groin opening required in Marichyasana B and the deep twist of Marichyasana C. To perform the pose fully, as Iyengar does, you must create a great deal of opening in the lotus leg and a great deal of spinal flexibility for the twist. You will discover which of these two elements require more of your attention and focus when you begin to combine the two.

Happy Mariachi!

Namaste.

Ruby (200Hr/Hatha&Ashtanga/weekday)