August Asana of the Month: Marichyasana 3 or C (Marichi’s Pose)

Marichyasana 3 2010

Each month we choose a pose to focus on in each class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons. – Asana Girl (a.k.a. Danielle Polen)

According to Yoga Journal, “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.” Claudia Cummins, an Ohio-based yoga teacher and Yoga Journal columnist calls Marichyasana III “[o]ne of the most exquisite and refreshing of all yoga postures [that] serves as a balm for tight shoulders, achy backs, sluggish digestion, and stifled breathing. It leaves us balanced, rejuvenated, and ready for the day ahead.” When teaching the pose, she counsels her students to “breathe gently, soften the inner organs, and enjoy the juicy vibrancy that Marichyasana III offers …. Let Marichyasana III wring everything that is inessential out of you,” she urges.

Marichyasana III (Marichi’s Pose No. III):
Marichi = literally means a ray of light (of the sun or moon)

Benefits (according to Yoga Journal):

  • Massages the abdominal organs, including the liver and kidneys
  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Stretches the shoulders
  • Stimulates the brain
  • Relieves mild backache and hip pain
  • Strengthens and stretches the spine
  • Potential therapeutic applications for: constipation, digestive problems, sciatica, asthma, fatigue, lower backache, menstrual discomfort


  • Serious back or spine injury
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Migraine
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

Preparatory Poses:

  • Bharadvajasana (Standing Forward Fold)
  • Gomukhasana (Cow-faced Pose)
  • Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)
  • Supta Padangusthasana (Reclined Big-Toe Stretch)
  • Virasana (Hero’s Pose)

Song that Most Comes to Mind While in the Posture:

Ten Foot Pole Cats’ “Squeeze


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