Marichyasana D

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Marichyasana D – The final pose of the Marichyasana series—at least in Primary series (the advanced series has a Marichyasana E,F,G, and H!)  This twist is a challenging pose to get into and may require years of practice to complete.  Patience and diligent practice will bring forth the benefits of this posture.  Twists are important asanas for spinal health; they keep the spine flexible (a rigid spine is more prone to injury as it can not absorb shock) and bring fresh blood supply to the spinal nerves.  Marichyasana B and D help relieve pain in the back and hips while opening the shoulders and strengthening the neck.


  • From Downward dog hop through to Dandasana.
  • Inhaling place your LEFT leg in half lotus, turning the sole of your foot upward and if your hip allows, moving your heel toward your navel and your left knee toward your right knee.
  • Bend your right knee and ground your right foot, heel close to your outer hip. If the lotus position is a challenge for you or puts stress in your knee you can drop your leg out of lotus and place it under the right thigh for the time being (see picture of Frank). Spending extra time in Baddha Konasana and requesting assists will help open and prepare the hips for Marichyasana D.
  • Place your right hand behind you and close to your sacrum with your fingers pointing away from your body. Slide your left lotus leg forward and your right hip back so your hips are not square and your left knee is forward of your right foot. Lean into your left leg grounding it, your right hip will most likely lift off the floor—you now have a tripod of support consisting of your left thigh and hip and your right foot.
  • Twisting to the right slide your left arm around your right knee, inhaling as you lift your spine up and out of your pelvis and exhaling as you twist the thorax. Keep your knee upright, neither allowing it to flare out or collapse across your body. Many will need to stay in this position until the hips, lower back, and/or shoulder allows deeper twisting. See picture of Krista.
  • To go to the next level in the pose continue sliding your underarm toward your right thigh, if your shoulder can come in alignment with your knee you are ready to internally rotate your left arm and reach around your leg and eventually around your back. Leaning into your left thigh lift your right hand off the floor and reach around your back clasping your hands for the bind. Look over your right shoulder, gazing out the right corners of your eyes.
  • Sit up tall while you sit down, inhaling to get length in your spine lifting your heart as you ground through the tripod of support you created, exhaling as you deepen the twist. Flex your left heel into your abdomen for further de-toxifying of the internal organs. Hold here for 5-8 deep breaths.
  • With an inhale turn your gaze to the front and on exhale release the posture, take vinyasa and repeat on the other side.

Marichyasana D is one of the three main creators of strength and support in the primary series; it is in the heart of the series and one of the core postures. The entire Marichyasana series cures gaseous movements in the stomach and intestines, with that flatulence, indigestion, and constipation are eliminated and digestive power is restored. These asana also directly benefit the kidneys.

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