Marjariasana is a Sanskrit word that translates to “cat pose” in English. It is a yoga posture that is often practiced as a gentle warm-up exercise or as part of a sequence of postures.
|English Name||Cat Stretch Pose|
|Meaning||Marjari means “cat” in sanskrit. Marjariasana translates into the “cat pose”.|
|Base Position||Kneeling with palms supporting the shoulders|
|Body Part||back, neck|
|Category||Vajrasana Group of Asanas|
|Benefits||Marjariasana stretches the spine and the neck. It’s extremely useful for increasing flexibility. It relieves the tension in back, neck & shoulders.|
How to do Marjariasana (Cat Stretch Pose)
- Sit in vajrasana.
- Raise the buttocks and stand on the knees.
- Lean forward and place the hands flat on the floor beneath the shoulders with the fingers facing forward.
- The hands should be in line with the knees; the arms and thighs should be perpendicular to the floor.
- The knees may be slightly separated so that they are well aligned under the hips.
- This is the starting position.
- Inhale while raising the head and depressing the spine so that the back becomes concave.
- Expand the abdomen fully and fill the lungs with the maximum amount of air. Hold the breath for 3 seconds. Exhale while lowering the head and stretching the spine upward.
- At the end of exhalation, contract the abdomen and pull in the buttocks.
- The head will now be between the arms, facing the thighs. Hold the breath for 3 seconds, accentuating the arch of the spine and the abdominal contraction.
- This is one round.
Breathing pattern while doing Marjariasana: Perform the movement breathing as slowly as is comfortable. Aim at taking at least 5 seconds for both inhalation and exhalation.
Benefits of Marjariasana
- Improves spinal flexibility: Marjariasana helps to stretch and lengthen the spine, which can improve spinal flexibility and reduce stiffness in the back. This asana improves the flexibility of the neck, shoulders, and spine.
- Strengthens the core muscles: The Cat Pose helps to strengthen the core muscles, including the abdominal muscles and the muscles that support the lower back.
- Relieves stress and tension: Marjariasana can help to relieve stress and tension in the body and mind, making it a useful pose for people who suffer from anxiety, depression, or other stress-related conditions.
- Stimulates digestion: This pose can help to stimulate digestion by massaging the digestive organs and increasing blood flow to the abdominal region.
- Improves posture: Practicing Marjariasana regularly can help to improve posture by strengthening the muscles that support the spine and reducing tension in the neck and shoulders.
- Enhances mindfulness: This pose can help to enhance mindfulness and body awareness, allowing you to focus on the present moment and tune out distractions.
- Female health: It gently tones the female reproductive system, giving relief from menstrual cramps and leucorrhea.
- It may be safely practiced during pregnancy; forceful contraction of the abdomen, however, should be avoided.
- Do not bend the arms at the elbows. Keep the arms and thighs vertical throughout.