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Yoga Pose – Marichyasana

In my previous article on Tadasana, I’ve explained few common instructions applicable to all the asanas. Strange are the names of various asanas. They have been dedicated to birds and animals, staffs and stones and now this Marichyasana is dedicated to a Sage. Marichi is the great- grandfather of Manu, the creator of humanity. The literal meaning of Marichi is, “a ray of light”. At the first look at this asana, one gets the feeling of struggle and this is one of the difficult poses to practice with. Does it subtly hints at the eternal struggle of humanity, which Lord Manu has kindly created, and a tribute to his grandfather?

Method/Technique of Ustrasana / Sage Twist Pose

  1. Use a thick blanket, sit on it with outstretched legs and keep them straight.
  2. The next step lays the “foundation” for the further steps of the asana and hence it is important. If one commits mistakes here, the final product of the asana will end up in a fiasco. Also, this asana is done on either sides of the body, one side participating actively—Bend the left knee and keep the left sole heel of the left foot on the floor. Ensure that the shin of the left leg remains perpendicular to the floor and the calf touches the thigh. The left heel is near the perineum. Now see that the inner side of the left foot touches the inner side of the stretched right leg.
  3. Move the left shoulder forward and get the armpit to touch the left shin of the leg.
  4. Take the left forearm around the left thigh and take it behind the back. Get the right hand also backwards and clasp the wrist of the left hand. If you fail to clasp the wrist in its entirety, hold the fingers.
  5. Move the spine to the left; let the outstretched right leg remain straight. Retain this position, view the right big toe and take some deep breaths.
  6. Exhale, bend forward rest the forehead, nose, lips and chin in that order on the right knee.
  7. In this position, the outstretched leg remains resting on the floor and the shoulders parallel to the floor. Breathe normally.
  8. Inhale deeply, raise the head, loosen the hands and release them, stretch the leg forward and relax.
  9. Repeat the procedure on the right side.

Physical/Therapeutic benefits

  1. Care is the watchword for this asana as sensitive parts and nerve centers actively participate. The focus is on abdomen, hips, groins, hamstrings, shoulders, liver, and kidneys. Strengthens shoulders especially.  Kidney and liver functions stimulated.
  2. Patients suffering from constipation and flatulence benefit. Consequently, improvement in the digestive functions.
  3. Fights obesity.
  4. With extra blood circulation to the palm and fingers, which are actively involved in this asana, they get strengthened. Abdominal area also gets the benefit of improved blood circulation.

Spiritual benefits

  1. The doer must get lots of inspiration to do this asana as this asana is named after  a great realized soul, Sage Marichi.  It is reasonable to assume that this has lots of spiritual significance and is conducive to the advancement of spirituality.
  2. Supposed to be a “brain tonic” as it stimulates its proper functioning.


  1. Patients of diarrhea and asthma should avoid this asana.
  2. Learn and practice this asana in stages, before attaining total perfection. Do not attempt to complete the asana in the first few practices.
  3. Konasana, Sisrsana and Sukhasana are some of the preparatory asanas.
  4. The beginner need to use a thick blanket for sitting in a soft elevated position, and also use a strap for the hands, if one experiences problems in clasping hands behind the back.
  5. Just as study-buddy approach helps in learning a new language, partnering is desirable while practicing this asana initially. Let the partner stand behind you. He/she can be of assistance to press your torso and thigh close with hands, by applying mild force.

(Pic courtesy:


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