Twelve Months of Abhaya fearless Yoga | Marichyasana III

Toxins constantly accumulate in our bodies whether or not we are aware of them. They are the root cause for any number of ailments from headaches to fatigue to more serious conditions such as cancer. Let’s do our part to free ourselves of toxins by hydrating ourselves well. Drinking approximately half your body weight in ounces of water is the recommended amount. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., drink approximately 75 ounces (roughly 9 cups) of water per day. Practicing spinal twists such as Marichyasana III, that massage the organs and squeeze toxins out, is a great way to free ourselves from toxins and the health challenges they produce.

  1. Sit with your legs extended forward. Make sure both sit bones are rooted
    firmly with the earth. It may help to reach under you and spread the fleshy
    parts of the buttocks out of the way to expose the sit bones.
  2. On your next in breath, draw your right knee up and hug it in towards your
    chest. Draw your heel in as close as you can, keeping it in alignment with
    your sit bone. Opposite leg and foot are engaged with toes pointed up
    towards the sky. This helps to protect the low back and knee.
  3. To prepare for the twist, move the fleshy parts of the belly out of the
    way, pulling them towards the right (that’s the direction we’ll be twisting
  4. Place your right hand on the earth just behind you. Extend the left arm
    over the left leg, then wrap it around the right knee.
  5. On your next in breath, extend energy up through the crown of the head,
    lengthening the spine. On your next out breath, begin twisting towards the
    right, moving first from the navel. Lengthen up on your in breath, and on the
    next out breath bring the twist up into the low ribs. Continue lengthening
    on the in breaths, and deepening the twist upwards on the out breaths. Imagine
    the spine as a spiral staircase, twisting slowly into the chest, shoulders,
    neck and head. Look out the right corners of the eyes.
  6. Once you have twisted as far as you can in this moment, release all the
    efforting not necessary to maintain the structure of Marichyasana III, Lord
    Marichi’s posture, or Seated Spinal Twist. Can you relax the skin? Relax the
    jaw? Relax the gaze of the eyes? Imagine the organs being wrung out like a
    towel, squeezing out the toxins. Maintain the twist for 3 to 5 breaths.
  7. To come back to neutral, on an in breath lengthen up first, then on the
    next out breath, come back around slowly, beginning first with the head and
    neck, then the shoulders, chest, ribs, and navel. Repeat on the other side.


  • Massages abdominal organs, including liver and kidneys
  • Opens the shoulders
  • Stimulates the brain
  • Relieves mild backache and hip pain
  • Strenghthens and opens the spine

Contraindications & Cautions 

With serious back or spine injury: Practice this posture only with the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Practice with caution if you have:

  • High or low blood pressure
  • Migraine
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

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