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Utthita Marichyasana
(Extended Sage Marichi Pose)

Utthita Marichyasana pose

How to perform Extended Sage Marichi Pose

Place your feet parallel to the wall. Lift the leg closest to the wall up and place your foot on a chair. Twist your chest towards the wall and use your hand as leverage to go deeper into the twist.

What is Utthita Marichyasana?

A beginner level pose aimed at opening up your hips, chest, and shoulders.

You start out in Tadasana, facing a chair that has been placed next to the wall. One leg is placed on the chair. Work on maintaining your Tadasana line and, as you lift your leg, make sure your hips don’t twist and remain aligned. When this has been accomplished, soften your navel and rotate your upper body so that your chest is facing the wall. Placing a hand on the wall helps support your balance and deepen the twist.

When to use Utthita Marichyasana?

There are several variations to this pose. For beginners, it is recommended to place both hands on the wall for support as a way of making your body used to the twist. As you grow more accustomed to the pose, you can try the reverse variation, where the chest is facing away from the wall. Eventually, you will be able to assume this position freely without wall support, either by placing your hand on your bent knee for leverage or by simply holding your arms out at your side with your elbows bent (like cactus arms).

Regardless of the variation, this pose promotes good posture, can help even out imbalances in your spine, and will tone your back muscles ahead of more advanced poses. The mild twist can help relieve back pain or to wash away fatigue accumulated throughout your practice. It also improves your sense of balance and teaches your body to apply the foundations learned through practicing Tadasana.