Marichi = literally means a ray of light (of the sun or moon). Marichi is the son of Brahma and chief of the Maruts (“shining ones”), the war-like storm gods. He’s one of the seven (sometimes 10 or 12) seers (rishis) or lords of creation (prajapatis), who intuitively “see” and declare the divine law of the universe (dharma). Marichi is the great-grandfather of Manu (“man, thinking, intelligent”), the Vedic Adam and the “father” of humanity.
Marichi’s Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions
Sit in Dandanasa (Staff Pose), then bend your right knee and put the foot on the floor, with the heel as close to the right sitting bone as possible. Keep the left leg strong and rotated slightly inward; ground the head of the thigh bone into the floor. Press the back of the left heel and the base of the big toe away from the pelvis. Also press the inner right foot actively into the floor, but soften the inner right groin to receive the pubis as you twist. Grounding the straight-leg thigh and bent-knee foot will help you lengthen your spine, which is always the first prerequisite of a successful twist.
With an exhalation, rotate your torso to the right and wrap your left arm around the right thigh. Hold the outer thigh with your left hand, then pull the thigh up as you release the right hip toward the floor. Press your right fingertips onto the floor just behind your pelvis to lift the torso slightly up and forward.
Remember to keep your straight leg and bent-knee foot grounded. Sink the inner right groin deeper into the pelvis, then lengthen your front belly up out of the groin along the inner right thigh. Continue lengthening the spine with each inhalation, and twist a little more with each exhalation. Hug the thigh to your belly, then lean back against your shoulder blades into an upper-back backbend. Gently turn your head to the right to complete the twist in your cervical spine.
Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then release with an exhalation, reverse the legs and twist to the left for an equal length of time.
Contraindications and Cautions
Serious back or spine injury: Perform this pose only with the supervision of an experienced teacher.
Also avoid this pose if you have:
- High or low blood pressure
- Digestive problems
- Lower backache
- Menstrual discomfort
- Massages abdominal organs, including the liver and kidneys
- Stretches the shoulders
- Stimulates the brain
- Relieves mild backache and hip pain
- Strengthens and stretches the spine