Cat Pose - Marjariasana

Cat Pose - Marjariasana - YanvaYoga


Cat Pose — Marjariasana (Mar-jar-YA-SUN-aa) — gets its name from the Sanskrit words marjari, meaning cat, and asana, meaning pose.
Is an easy forward-kneeling pose, that is used as a warm-up pose to prepare the body for higher level and intense Yoga practices.
In cat pose, a gentle stretch begins from the neck to the lower back that makes our core muscles work together. Thus, It mainly tones the core & spinal muscles and increases their flexibility.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Come onto your hands and knees, forming a tabletop position.
Step 2
Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor with your hands directly under your shoulders and flat on the yoga mat; your knees are hip-width apart.
Step 3
Look straight ahead, taking a deep breath and letting it go.
Step 4
The next time you inhale, raise your chin and tilt your head back, push your navel downwards, and raise your tailbone. Compress your buttocks.
Step 5
Hold the cow pose and take long, deep breaths.
Step 6
Follow this with a countermovement: As you exhale, drop your chin to your chest and arch your back up as much as you can, assuming the position of an angry cat.
Step 7
Relax your buttocks.
Step 8
Hold the cat pose for a few breaths before you return to the initial tabletop position.
Step 9
Continue for five or six rounds, inhaling for cow pose and exhaling for cat pose, before coming out of the postures.

Benefits and Contraindications


Brings flexibility to the spine

Stretches the back torso and neck

Strengthens wrists and shoulders

Provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs

Relaxes the mind

Improves blood circulation


Injury of the shoulders, wrists, neck, hip, knee and the back



Arthritis of the knee and wrists

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props and Tips

  • Ask a friend to place their hands on your upper back to help activate that area
  • Try initiating the movement from your tailbone first and then moving up the spine so your head drops last. This can help you explore the curve in different parts of your back.
  • Use Props. If you have difficulty maintaining balance or finding comfort in the pose, you can use props such as blocks or blankets to support your body. For example, you can place a block under your hands or a blanket under your knees to reduce the weight you are supporting.
  • Adjust Hand Position. If you have wrist pain or sensitivity, you can modify the position of your hands to reduce strain on the wrists. For example, you can place your hands on the edges of a block or stack of blankets or turn your hands outward.
  • Move Your Head. If you have neck sensitivity or injury, you can modify the position of your head to reduce strain on the neck muscles. For example, you can lift your head slightly or turn your head to one side to reduce the stretch on the neck.
  • Use a Wall. If you have difficulty maintaining balance in Cat Pose, you can use a wall for support. Stand with your back to the wall and place your hands on the wall in front of you as you arch and round your spine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can practice Cat Pose?

Cat Pose is a beginner-friendly yoga posture that can be practiced by anyone. It is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

How long should one hold Cat Pose?

Cat Pose is generally not held for a specific duration of time. It is usually practiced as part of a flow or sequence, and the movements are done dynamically, moving with the breath.

What precautions should be taken while practicing Cat Pose?

It is important to keep the movements slow and controlled, and not overexert the body. People with knee or wrist injuries may want to use a cushion or blanket under the knees or hands for support.

Can Cat Pose help in relieving lower back pain?

Cat Pose can be helpful in relieving lower back pain by stretching and mobilizing the spine. It can also help in strengthening the core muscles, which can improve posture and reduce the risk of back pain.

Can Cat Pose help in improving flexibility?

Cat Pose can help in improving flexibility in the spine, shoulders, and neck. It can also be helpful in improving hip mobility, which can benefit people who sit for long periods of time.

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Modifications & Variations

  • Cat Cow Pose Knees Lifted
  • Cat Pose With Blocks
  • Seated Cat Pose

Top Follow-Up Poses

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.