Binding Marichyasana C, Which Muscles Prevent It?

Transcript below of: What muscles prevent binding marichyasana C?

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The Question:

This question comes from Feza, “Which muscle or muscle groups prevent me from binding Marichyasana C pose?” It’s a good question. There is a simple answer and there’s a more complex answer.

The Answer:

I would say every posture is a combination of technique and then strength and flexibility at a minimum. Those things are going on anatomically. The simple answer to your question is that when you are binding Marichyasana C, your shoulder joint is doing internal rotation. That means that we would look at any external rotators to be in direct opposition and to be restricting that internal rotation. It’s a short list of external rotators of the shoulder joint.

You’ve got the posterior portion of the deltoid muscle and then two rotator cuff muscles, infraspinatus and teres minor. We don’t do a lot of powerful external rotation. The internal rotators are much larger and there are many more of them like latissimus, pectoralis major, as well as rotator cuff muscles. The simple answer is it’s possible that your external rotators are tight. You may want to read An Anatomical Breakdown of Marichyasana D. The other factor is potentially your internal rotators aren’t strong enough to overcome the resistance of your external rotators.

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The technique aspect

The other aspect is the technique aspect. By the way, all of these assume that you don’t have a bony restriction going on that is reducing your ability to do internal rotation. The last element is technique and it’s probably the most common reason I see that people are not binding Marichyasana C. Technique-wise, they’re still keeping their body too far away from their knee.

It’s kind of like this development that happens when we first learn to twist. We typically put our hand behind us and we hook our arm on the outside of our knee and we hold on. That’s totally fine and appropriate for the beginning stages of a twist, or long-term that’s fine if that’s the type of practice that you do.

Moving the body forward first

If you want to bind, however, you have to get forward. As it turns out, I talk about this fairly specifically here in Functional Anatomy of Yoga in terms of the twist, how the body comes forward, how you want to get the armpit close to the knee, and then try to rotate the arm. Another little piece that you might look into is how are you putting the rest of your body.

Then, create the twist

Now, barring shoulder issues coming forward, the scapula is going to have to move as well as going to have to protract and potentially downwardly rotate by the time you get all the way around. You could have a restriction at the shoulder blade as well or it’s spinal. All of these factors come together. The simple answer to your question, assuming it’s your shoulder joint, is it would be the external rotators. You may also gain some insight from my article on Adjusting Marichyasana C

Alright everybody, see you next time.