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.
Begin by positioning yourself on all fours, creating a tabletop shape with your body.
Ensure that your arms are perpendicular to the floor, placing your hands directly beneath your shoulders, and firmly grounded on the yoga mat. Keep your knees hip-width apart.
Maintain a forward gaze, taking a deep breath and releasing it.
Inhale once again, lifting your chin and gently tilting your head back. Simultaneously, push your navel downward and lift your tailbone while engaging your buttocks.
Hold the cow pose and take slow, deep breaths.
As you exhale, transition into the cat pose by dropping your chin towards your chest and arching your back upwards, mimicking the stance of an angry cat.
Relax your buttocks.
Hold the cat pose for a few breaths before returning to the initial tabletop position.
Continue this sequence for five or six rounds, inhaling during the cow pose and exhaling during the cat pose, before concluding 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.
A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it.
In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings.
After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva.
To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics.
Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga.
At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.