This bound pose of a seated forward fold is a another variation of Marichyasana.

Yoga Pose: Seated Bound Forward Fold (Marichyasana)

Difficulty level: Easy

Benefits

  • Calms the mind
  • Stretches the spine and shoulders
  • Stretches the hamstrings
  • Stimulates and soothes the abdominal organs

Begin in Dandasana .  Press from the left hip through the left heel, maintaining an internal rotation of the upper thigh.  Bend your right knee and draw the sole of the foot in close to the right sitting bone.  Press with your hands to draw the thigh in close to the chest.

Place your left hand on the floor just outside of and behind your left hip.  Inhale, stretch from the pelvis lengthening your spine, lifting your right arm straight up in the air, open palm facing left  (thumb pointing behind you).  The more length you find in your spine and through your arm in this step, the easier the bind will be to find.

Continue pressing through the left leg as you hinge at the hips, drawing your torso forward and stretching your right arm towards the end of your mat.  Press your knee into your shoulder as you fold, keeping the right knee tucked firmly in close to the body.

Bend your right elbow, press your palm away from your body and wrap your right arm around your right leg and back.

Extend your left arm perpendicular to your body at shoulder height, palm down.  Rotate the palm so that your thumb points down, then bend at the elbow and sweep the left arm around your left side, clasping the right hand behind your back.

Draw your shoulder blades firmly onto your back.  Lift your gaze and press up and forward through your chest.

Hold for several breaths, then slowly unwind and repeat on the other side.

Variations to improve accessibility:

If it is uncomfortable to forward fold with one leg stretched out in front of you, place a folded blanket or small pillow under the hips.  This slight elevation will improve accessibility and comfort.

If you have difficulty clasping hands behind the back, place a strap on the floor behind your hips while in Dandasana.  As you sweep your arms around, reach for the strap, allowing the strap to “lengthen” your reach.