Thursday, May 12, 2011

How I Bind In Marichyasana D

I tend to be more strong than I am flexible and I hadhave a tendency to approach my yoga practice by brute force sometimes. Which doesn't really serve me well in the long run.

One pose that I approached in this manner is marichyasana d. Binding was elusive for the longest time which was odd because despite my relative lack of flexibility I am a pretty decent twister, but I digress. After some a lot of time I managed to inconsistently bind on my own on the right side but binding alone on my left side was something that only happened in my dreams. Each day I would get anxious as the pose approached and lose all bearings and not manage to bind. JB or one of the assistants would walk over and wrangle me into the pose. I jokingly told one of the assistants that I planned to never eat again so that I could one day bind on my own. She assured me that wasn't the answer. I do however think part of the culprit was my painfully tight right shoulder.

I sought treatment for the shoulder and things started to loosen up in that area but binding still wasn't possible on that side and remained inconsistent on the other. One day while attempting with all my might to bind on my good side the assistant looked at me and said "J you're arm is doing a whole lot of work but you're not twisting your body". And it was totally true and it totally clicked.

From that day on I started approaching the pose a lot different. It went from anxiety and dread to a more laid back approach. I also started to twist from the upper body first even before trying to wrap my arm around to bind. On my right side this has served me extremely well and after a few weeks I was able to bind consistently on that side. My left side is still a little challenging. When I'm not taking a led class I usually twist and rest my elbow on the outside of my knee and hold it anywhere from 3-5 breaths and this intermediate step has served me well. After that I go in for the bind and it's usually a lot easier however, for some reason I have to give my hand a slight assist by reaching in between my legs to get it to slide over my fatty calf muscle. I know it's not ideal and it doesn't flow with the vinyasa count but it works for me and I get the satisfaction of binding on my own in that pose. I'm sure that over time things will come much easier(or perhaps not) and I'll be able to do it to the actual vinyasa count.

* image borrowed from

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