How to Do Marichyasana A Yoga Pose

How to Do Marichi's Pose - Marichyasana A
Ann Pizer

T ype of Pose: Forward Bend

Also Known As: Marichyasana I

Benefits: Stretches the shoulders, back, hamstrings, and hips.

Marichyasana is a pose from the Ashtanga primary series. It is done about midway through the seated poses after the hips and hamstrings have been warmed up with janu sirsasana. Marichyasana A is followed by the B, C, and D variations of the pose, which incorporate more forward folding and twisting. The pose is named for Marichi, one of the sons of the Hindu god of creation, Brahma.


  1. Begin by sitting up tall in staff pose.
  2. Bend your right knee and place the sole of your right foot close your right buttock. Leave about a hand width's distance between your foot and your opposite thigh.
  3. Keep your left leg extended and engaged with the foot flexed.
  4. Reach your right arm forward toward your left foot. Instead of grabbing your left foot, turn your right palm to the right side of your mat with your thumb pointing down.
  5. Wrap your right arm around the front of your right shin. Your upper arm and shoulder come forward to make this possible.
  6. Reach your left arm up toward the ceiling, opening your chest to the left while keeping your right arm in position.
  7. Drop your left arm behind your back, reaching to join your hands.
  8. Bind your hands together behind your back.
  9. Sit up tall with a long, straight spine. Inhale.
  10. Exhale and begin to fold into a forward bend, keeping your hands bound and your spine long. Keep your gaze (drishti) on the left toes. Your right knee will move to the right but keep your right foot firmly planted on the floor. It's all right if your right buttock comes up off the ground.
  1. Hold for three to five breaths.
  2. Come back to a perpendicular spine before releasing the bind and doing the pose with the right leg extended.
  3. If you want to do it full Ashtanga style, jump back to chaturanga and take a vinyasa before doing the other side.

Beginners Tips

  • You can use a strap between your hands if they don't meet up behind your back. However, don't rush into the forward bend. It's important to keep the integrity of your spine, not just slump forward.
  • If the bind is not possible, don't force it. You can do work on holding the leg position as you do a forward fold.
  • Sitting up on a folded blanket can help you get the necessary hip rotation to make this pose more comfortable.

Advanced Variations

  1. Try deepening the bind by holding the left wrist with your right hand. You can start to straighten your arms behind your back a bit if possible.
  2. Eventually, your chin may come to your shin in the forward fold.
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