Practice Lab

marichi's pose D
One pose I have a lot of trouble with is Marichyasana 4 (also know as Marichyasana D in the Ashtanga Vinyasa system). My whole outer hip area is so thick and solid that, although I can get my legs into the right shape, I generally can’t quite bring my trunk far around to even get my elbow onto the raised leg. So, I thought this might be a good pose to tackle.

To help mobilize the gluteal area, I was working with the following ideas (the same ideas I’ve been teaching in my intermediate classes):

• Strengthening and grounding the lesser trochanters and, wherever possible, moving them away from the midline of the body
• Moving the face of the sacrum (the inner surface of the bone that faces the organs) away from the lesser trochanters into the glutes
• Softening and widening the glutes (gluteus maximus) and the lats (latissimus dorsi)
• Lengthening the Ilia (pelvic bones) from top to bottom (rim to sitting bone)

Here’s the sequence:

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose)

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1)

Parivrtta Janu Shirshasana (Revolved Head of the Knee Pose) preparation
• Bolster under the straight leg, keeping the leg bent, working on the twisting action

Parivrtta Janu Shirshasana (Revolved Head of the Knee Pose)

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1) twist only

Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1)

Marichyasana 2 (Marichi’s Pose 2) twist only

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Marichyasana 2 (Marichi’s Pose 2)

Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose)

Parshva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose)

Child’s Pose with arms by the sides

Eka Pada Koundinyasa 1 (Single Leg Koundinya’s Pose 1)

Vatayanasana (Horse Pose)

Marichyasana 4 (Marichi’s Pose 4)

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (Single Leg King Pigeon Pose) forward bend/hip stretch

Marichyasana 4 (Marichi’s Pose 4)

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)

[The previous two poses were to reintegrate the back after all the forward bending and twisting.]

Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand 1)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

It was quite an effective sequence. I was actually able to get my elbow across the body and onto the thigh. If you try it, let me know how it goes.

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