Contraindications: Lower back injury, rotator cuff injury, pregnancy, endometriosis, fibroids, cysts
When to introduce: Once the other seated forward bends like Paschimottanasana, Janu Sirsasana and Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana progress.
Foundation: Sitting bones, top of the femurs and feet
Primary movement: Hip flexion, knee flexion on one side, leg extension on the other side.
Rotations: Both top femurs in internal rotation
Props: (As needed)
About the Pose:
Marichyasana A strengthens spinal and paraspinal muscles and teaches the beginning of twisting actions. This pose tones the digestive tract and abdominal organs and can help improve digestion.
Begin sitting in Dandasana on a sufficient height. Keeping the left leg extended, stabilize the left leg as you bend the right leg, bringing the right heel in front of the right sit bone.
From the back of the pelvis, extend the left thigh bone out of the pelvis and press through the base of the big toe. Bring the pelvis to neutral and square the hips so that both hip bones are pointed straight forward. Draw the two front hip bones towards each other, lift the sacrum in and up.
Keeping the femurs stable by pressing the inner top femur of the extended leg and the foot of the bent leg down into the floor, inhale, raise the arms and lift the pelvis away from the femurs, as you lengthen your spine and the space from hips to armpits.
Maintain the length of the spine and lift in the sacrum, keep the legs stable. Abduct the head of the femurs as the inner thighs hug towards the midline. On an exhalation, without rounding the upper edge of the sacrum, L4 and L5, lift the pelvis up and over the top femurs as you move forward. Lengthen from your navel to your sternum, without losing that length, exhale as you continue to fold forward gradually in this way.
Keep the right knee closed and the right sitting bone heavy as you anterior tilt the pelvis to fold forward, with the torso on the inside of the right thigh. Make sure that both sides are symmetrical, to the floor, and that you are not going into a twist.
Once you reach your maximum, exhale to place your hands on the floor, keeping the upper chest and collar bones broad. (If appropriate, wrap your arms around and clasp the hands behind your back.)
To come out of the pose, inhale, stabilize the legs, release the clasp of the hands, press the hands down into the floor and make the sitting bones heavy. Keep the sitting bones heavy, inhale as you reverse the tilt of the pelvis (posterior tilt) to bring the torso and head back to sitting upright. Extend the right leg and return to sitting in Dandasana.
Repeat on the second side.