Definition - What does Marichyasana mean?

Marichyasana is a seated asymmetrical yoga asana that both requires and builds flexibility and mobility. Its name comes from the name of the Hindu rishi, Marichi, which also means "ray of light" in Sanskrit. Marichyasana may also be known as Marichi’s pose in English.

It has four main variations — A, B, C and D — all of which are included in the primary series of Ashtanga yoga:

  • Marichyasana A — one leg straight on the ground with a forward fold
  • Marichyasana B — bottom leg in half lotus with a forward fold
  • Marichyasana C — one leg straight on the ground with a twist
  • Marichyasana D — bottom leg in half lotus with a twist

Yogapedia explains Marichyasana

As well as its physical benefits, because it involves a forward fold or a twist, it is considered a calming posture for the mind and body. The Marichyasana variations are also popular among a range of styles of yoga because of their physical and mental benefits.

Traditionally, Marichyasana is associated with inner light, as is reflected in its name. In Hindu mythology, Marichi was a son of the divine creator, Brahma, and as such, Marichi became the ruler of the “shining ones.” As well as calming, the twisting variations of Marichyasana are associated with bringing more vibrancy and vitality to the yogi.

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