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For Beginners: Marichyasana III (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi III)

Counter tight shoulders and achy backs with this rejuvenating twist.

By Claudia Cummins

When you feel that your body has recovered its composure and graceful alignment, you may decide to inhale to lengthen and exhale to revolve just a few more times, milking the twist for all that it's worth. Let the breath massage your abdominal organs as you do this, inviting your inner body to soften and surrender. Let Marichyasana III wring everything that is inessential out of you.

When you've had enough, slowly unravel yourself from the pose with fluidity and finesse. Enjoy the effortless release of your spine as it slips out of the twist. Straighten your right leg, close your eyes, and observe how Marichyasana III has changed you. As you rest here, enjoy the delicious feeling of being filled with fresh, clear breath and renewed vitality.

When your body signals that it is ready to twist to the left, repeat the same movements on the opposite side, maintaining a quiet and receptive attitude all the while. Avoid the tendency to hustle through the second half of the pose just to check it off your to-do list. Instead, move slowly and with patience, observing each passing sensation and breath.

Once you've settled into your deepest twist on the second side, imagine a swirling ribbon of satin beautifully winding its way around your spine. With your mind's eye, trace that silky spiral from your tailbone all the way up into the sky so that your spine feels evenly stretched from bottom to top. Breathe gently, soften the inner organs, and enjoy the juicy vibrancy that Marichyasana III offers.

For Beginners columnist Claudia Cummins is a yoga teacher who lives and writes from her home in Mansfield, Ohio.

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