Yoga Pose of the Month - April 2013 - Marichyasana
Twisting is an important component of the yoga practice, giving us the opportunity to wring out our bodies just like wringing out a washcloth. Through this wringing action, this seated twist can flush out toxins while bringing in fresh oxygen to muscles and organs. Twisting is also beneficial for range of motion in the spine, especially the lower back. Improving digestion, posture, and circulation are other added benefits of twists.
For this seated posture, start with the left leg straight in front of you and bring the right foot flat on the floor as close to the right sitting bone as possible with the knee bent. You can keep the right foot here, or if the hips allow for it, cross the right foot over the left leg. From here, rotate the torso to the right and bring the left hand to the outside of the right knee and bring the right fingertips behind the back to act as a kickstand.
On an inhale, lengthen the crown of the head towards the sky, ground down through the sit bones, and on an exhale, begin to twist the right lung towards the back of the room, keeping the right front hip point moving towards the front of the room. Keep the belly soft, as the twist comes from the thoracic spine. Maintaining a consistent breath throughout any twist is vital to maintaining integrity in the pose and moving deeper into the twist. On the inhale, length the spine reaching the crown of the head upwards and on the exhale, move deeper into the twist by continuing to rotate the right lung towards the back of the room.
To move deeper into the pose, reach the left arm towards the sky and then bend the left elbow and bring it to the outside of the right knee. Take at least 5 breaths on each side and take your time moving slowly out of the tw