Poses by Type

Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi I

Folding into Marichyasana I or Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi I calms your mind, extends your spine, and gives your internal organs a healthy squeeze.

Marichi is the great-grandfather of Manu (“man, thinking, intelligent”), the Vedic Adam, and the “father” of humanity.

Marichi = literally a ray of light.

Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi I: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose). Bend your left knee and place the foot on the floor, with the heel as close to the left sitting bone as possible. Keep the right leg strong and rotated slightly inward, grounding the head of the thighbone into the floor. Press the back of the right heel and the base of the big toe away from the pelvis. Make sure the inner left thigh presses firmly against the left side of the torso.

Step 2

As a preparation for the full pose, twist your torso to the right and press the back of the left shoulder against the inside of the left knee. Use this leverage to lengthen the left side of the torso along the thigh. Then gently unwind and face forward.

For more Forward Bend Poses

Step 3

Reach your left arm forward and rotate it inwardly, so the thumb points to the floor and the palm faces out to the left. As you reach the left arm forward, lengthen your torso forward and snuggle the left shin into the armpit. Then on an exhalation, sweep the forearm around the outside of the leg. The left hand will press against the outside of the left thigh or buttock.

Step 4

With another exhalation, sweep the right arm around behind your back. Clasp the right wrist in the left hand. Exhale and extend your torso forward from the groins, keeping the lower belly long. Lower the front torso as closely as possible to the right leg. Be sure the shoulders don’t scrunch up into the ears; draw the shoulders blades actively down your back.

For more Hip Openers

Step 5

Stay in position for 30 seconds to a minute, then come up as you inhale. Repeat on the other side for the same length of time.


Pose Information

Sanskrit Name

Marichyasana I

Pose Level


Contraindications and Cautions


Modifications and Props

To move more deeply into the forward bend in this pose, it’s helpful for beginning students to sit up high on a bolster or thickly folded blanket. Beginners can also use a strap between the hands if there’s some difficulty in clasping the hands behind the back.

Deepen the Pose

Once in the full pose, you can increase the stretch in the shoulders and chest and further lengthen the front torso by reaching your hands back away from the torso and straightening your elbows a bit.

Theraputic Applications


Preparatory Poses

Ardha Baddha Padma Pashcimottanasana

Baddha Konasana

Janu Sirsasana

Siddhasana or Sukhasana

Supta Virasana

Supta Baddha Konasana

Supta Padangusthasana

TriangMukha Paschimottanasana


Utthita Parsvottanasana


Follow-up Poses

Marichyasana I is usually part of a long sequence of seated forward bends.

Follow-up asanas include:
Upavistha Konasana and

Other possibilities include:

Beginner’s Tip

Because of tightness in the groins, beginners often have difficulty keeping the bent-knee thigh close to the side of the torso. This makes it more difficult to notch the shin into the armpit and wrap the arm around the leg. As you bring the arm forward in preparation for the pose, grip the bent-knee shin with the opposite-side hand and pull the thigh in against the side torso.


Calms the brain
Stretches the spine and shoulders
Stimulates abdominal organs like the liver and kidneys
Improves digestion


If you’re having difficulty keeping the inner thigh of the bent knee pressed to the side of the torso, a partner can help. Perform steps 1 through 3 as described above. Have your partner stand behind you. She should then use her hands to press your torso and thigh closer together.


You can perform Marichyasana I with a slightly different leg position. From Dandasana, bend both knees and place your feet on the floor, heels about a foot away from the sitting bones. Slide your right heel under the left leg to the outside of the left hip, and lay the outer leg down on the floor. Then place the left heel just in front of the right ankle. Now perform the pose as described above. This is an excellent preparation for Malasana (Garland Pose) and Bakasana (Crane Pose).