Marichyasana III Variation Twisting Seated Pose


1. Put three chairs side-by-side, turn the end chair to face the other two, and sit on it so the back is supported. Lift the chest and press the sit bones onto the seat of the chair.

2. Take your legs one at a time up onto the other chairs by lifting them with your hands behind each knee. This allows the groin to stay loose and soft.

3. Turn and squarely face the feet. Raise up the left knee with your hands; brace the leg against the back of the chair.

4. Position your torso parallel to the chair backs, then extend the right leg. Now reach around with your right hand and hold onto the back of the chair against which the left leg is resting.

5. Now inhale smoothly and lift the chest. An instructor can encourage and support your lifting the spine by placing their right knee against the right mid thoracic spine.

6. Now inhale and turn the abdomen toward the left leg. As you do so, turn the chest and the shoulders, slipping your right elbow, if possible, around the left knee.

7. Reach with the left hand around the back of the chair to hold the seat as close to the spine as is comfortable.

8. Let the back of the chair you are sitting on to support the rib cage from the hips to the armpit. Lower the shoulders evenly.

9. Turn your head to face the right foot, and lower the inside of the right knee to the seat of the chair. Bring the left knee closer to the body.

10. Inhale slowly. Remain in this posture for 15 to 30 seconds. While you do this, continue to draw the bottom right ribs down and to the left.

11. Simultaneously press the left heel into the seat of the chair in order to lift the sternum. The instructor may guide the right shoulder blade down and toward the hip. The idea is to turn the torso, not the shoulder itself. Therefore the instructor might also encourage the left ribs to come back and around to the right. Make space by lifting the entire torso while it is in rotation.

12. Release the pose by first releasing the abdomen, then the right arm, and then the left arm.

13. Return your body to the right. Then bring your right leg to the floor with your hands. Do the same with your left leg and turn to face forward while sitting in the chair.

14. Rest a moment, then spread your feet by turning the toes slightly in and heels slightly outward. Lower your hands to rest gently on your thighs, and continue with slow and even breaths. Then repeat the pose on the other side by changing the position of the chairs.

BENEFITS

This pose stimulates all the organs in the torso to improve function. Sitting posture is improved. It enhances flexibility in the flanks, hips, and legs and reduces leg cramps. Tension in shoulders and neck is lessened, resulting in fewer headaches.
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