Marjariasana (Cat Stretch Pose)

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Marjariasana (cat pose)
Marjariasana (cat pose)

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 NameCat Stretch Pose
Sanskrit NameMarjariasana
MeaningMarjari means “cat” in sanskrit. Marjariasana translates into the “cat pose”.
Base PositionKneeling with palms supporting the shoulders
Repetitions10 repetitions
Body Partback, neck
CategoryVajrasana Group of Asanas
BenefitsMarjariasana 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)

  1. Sit in vajrasana.
  2. Raise the buttocks and stand on the knees.
  3. Lean forward and place the hands flat on the floor beneath the shoulders with the fingers facing forward.
  4. The hands should be in line with the knees; the arms and thighs should be perpendicular to the floor.
  5. The knees may be slightly separated so that they are well aligned under the hips.
  6. This is the starting position.
  7. Inhale while raising the head and depressing the spine so that the back becomes concave.
  8. 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.
  9. At the end of exhalation, contract the abdomen and pull in the buttocks.
  10. 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.
  11. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Stimulates digestion: This pose can help to stimulate digestion by massaging the digestive organs and increasing blood flow to the abdominal region.
  5. 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.
  6. Enhances mindfulness: This pose can help to enhance mindfulness and body awareness, allowing you to focus on the present moment and tune out distractions.
  7. Female health: It gently tones the female repro­ductive system, giving relief from menstrual cramps and leucorrhea.
  8. It may be safely practiced during pregnancy; forceful contraction of the abdomen, however, should be avoided.

Practice note:

  • Do not bend the arms at the elbows. Keep the arms and thighs vertical throughout.