maricyasana-a | spinal twist in sitting

a stress-reducing, spine elongating pose

Saint Maricyasana is a wonderful pose for reducing stress and strain on the back by stretching the lumbar spine and hamstring muscles. The pose also gently stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestive functions. 


Saint Marichya Pose (Spinal Twist in Sitting)

Type of practice

Endurance Asana


Yoga Mala by Pattabhi Joice developed the pose for intense natural detoxification of the body, breath, and mind. The result is an enhanced natural tranquility. 


The four variations of Maricyasana are meant to unfold the Mooladhara, Swadhishtana and Manipura chakras. Once activated, these energy centers allow the effortless flow of “Kundalini Energy.” In this article, we will dive into Variation 




Inhale, Dandasana (start the pose seated with your legs in front)


Exhale, Bend your right knee and place your foot flat on the floor just beside the left thigh.


Inhale, Raise your right arm. On your exhale wrap your arm around your right leg. Reach for your lower back and grab your left wrist. 


Inhale, look straightforward and stretch your spine up.


Exhale, gently bend your hips and touch your shin bone with your forehead or shin. 


Hold and breathe comfortably. 

Inhale, slowly raise your head and straighten your spine.


Exhale, release your arms.


Inhale, straighten your right leg and sit in Sithila Dandasana (relaxed sitting)


Use Props

1. Place a pillow under your thigh: The pillow relieves your hamstrings to allow a more comfortable forward fold.

2. Place a pillow underneath your glutes: The pillow relieves your hamstrings to allow a more comfortable forward fold.

Manual Adjustments for Teachers

1. Pull your right thigh toward the body. Push the mid-thoracic region towards the left foot but never downwards.

2. If the chin reaches the leg then push the mid-thoracic region downwards and allow the forehead to touch the left shin bone.

Take your time in the pose and remember your breath. Listen to your body and modify as needed. Deepen into the pose as your breath and mind allow. 

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