Yoga Poses

Marjariasana (Cat Stretch Pose) – Excellent Asana For Spine Flexibility


Cat Pose Yoga – Marjariasana – Cat-Cow Pose

In Yoga, many of the Yoga poses are named after the movement of animals and one of them is Marjariasana, also called Cat Pose, in which a practitioner imitates the way a cat stretches. The Yogis of ancient era observed and understood how animals lived in harmony with their environment and maintained their health. Marjari Asana is one of such Yoga Asanas in which they observed that how a cat’s stretch can incorporate an excellent feline stretch and help a practitioner keep spine, neck, and abdomen in good health. It relieves back pain. Some Yoga Schools also call the two alternate stretches of Marjariasana as Cat Cow Pose (Marjariasana/Bitilasana). 

Cat-Cow Pose Yoga (Marjariasana/Bitilasana) Steps

  • Spread a Yoga Mat and sit in Vajrasana on it.
  • Lean forward, raise buttocks, and place the hands flat on the floor beneath the shoulders.
  • The body is now on all fours, arms and thighs perpendicular to the floor, knees placed hip-width apart and in line with the knees.
  • This is the starting position.
  • Inhale and raise the chin, tilting the head backward and give a sagging curve to the spine.
  • On the complete inhalation, the abdominal wall, chest, and navel will be stretched to the maximum.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths.
  • Exhale while lowering the head, dropping the chin to the chest and stretching the spine upward.
  • Raise the upper back more, giving it a round shape as a cat is seen stretching its back.
  • On the complete exhalation, the abdominal wall is contracted, navel pulled inside maximum and buttocks are also pulled inside.
  • The head will be between the arms and will face the thighs.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths.
  • This is one round.
  • Perform 3 rounds.


Marjariasana Contraindications

  • People suffering from back and neck problems should either avoid this asana or perform it under the guidance of an expert Yoga teacher.
  • Those suffering from spondylitis should avoid that position when the head is brought down between the arms.

Marjariasana (Cat Cow Pose) Benefits

  • Marjariasana improves the flexibility of the spine, neck, and shoulders.
  • It strengthens the wrists and shoulders.
  • It relieves the practitioner of stress.
  • Marjariasana is good for people suffering from chronic back pain.

Cat-Cow Pose Pregnancy

  • The Cat-Cow Pose help eases back pain during pregnancy. It prepares the practitioner for breathing that may help her through the pain of labor contractions.
  • The Marjariasana can be safely practiced during the first three months of pregnancy but without forceful expansion and contraction of the abdomen.
  • Marjariasana is a great asana for females as it tones the female reproductive organs.
  • It is the best asana for them as it gives them relief from the menstrual cramps.
  • It also relieves females of Leucorrhea.

Practice Note For Marjariasana

  • Arms and thighs should be kept perpendicular to the floor throughout the practice.
  • Do not bend the arms at the elbows.

Beginner’s Tip For Marjariasana (Cat Cow Pose)

If it is difficult to raise the upper back, ask a friend to place his hand between the shoulder blades so that it can be raised by pushing the hand so placed.

About the author

Mahendra Kumar Vyas

Mahendra Vyas, with parental home at Jodhpur and born to Late Shri Goverdhan Lal Vyas and Shrimati Sharda Vyas, did Civil Engineering from M.B.M.Engineering College, Jodhpur. Shifted to Mumbai after completing engineering and worked with Sanjay Narang's Mars Group and Aditya Birla Group. With an inclination to spirituality and service, joined the Yoga stream and became a part of Yoga Niketan, Goregaon (west) in 2002 and since then practicing and imparting Yoga knowledge at Yoga Niketan and different corporates.

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