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Pose of the Week: M Sage 1

M SAGE 1
(marichyasana 1)

SHAPE PREP
(from staff pose)
Move hands back one foot.
Bend left knee, bring heel in front of left hip; point knee up.
Bring left ankle against right inner thigh. Slide hips forward, bring left heel to left hip.
Floint right foot (halfway between flex and point).
Lift left arm up, curve low back in (more doable: sit up on block).
Place left shoulder against inner left knee, bend elbow. Bring left thigh, left ribcage together.
Stay here or hold outer edge of right foot with left hand.
Stay here or wrap left arm around left leg, place back of wrist just above hip.

SHAPE POSE
Clasp left wrist with right hand (more doable: clasp hands or use strap to bind).
Stay here or lower chin, tip of nose to shin; allow left hip to lift off floor. Point right kneecap up.
Round back evenly, bring shoulders equidistant to floor.

SAFETY PREP
Tone right thigh, tighten kneecap, firm hamstrings, press thigh down.

SAFETY POSE
Squeeze shoulders towards spine.
Tone, turn abdomen to right.

REFINEMENT POSE
Stretch spine.

Repeat on the second side.

In m sage 1, the hands do not hold the foot of the extended leg. To get your forehead to your front knee will, therefore, require core strength. In Light On Yoga, B. K. S. Iyengar says that janu sirsasana, ardha baddha padma paschimottanasana, triang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana, and marichyasana 1 are the four key poses that prepare practitioners for paschimottanasana.1 As you practice one pose, you can’t help but be preparing for another.

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