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Cat Yoga Pose – Marjariasana

Cat Pose or Marjariasana

Marjariasana

[mar-jar-ee-AHS-anna]

Marjari means cat. In this pose, the flexes and extends in a way that is similar to a cat stretching.

 

Benefits of Cat Pose

  • Lengthens and releases tension and toxins from the spine.
  • Strengthens the lower back and abdomen.
  • The contact between the palms, knees, shins, and feet allows the practitioner to feel more grounded. This can be helpful in relieving anxiety.

Contraindications

  • Kneeling postures should be avoided just following knee surgery if they exacerbates pain in the knees. Using a chip foam block underneath the knees can be helpful for less severe knee pain.

Step-by-Step

  • Start on all fours with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips.
  • Feel the weight evenly distributed on your hands.
  • Make sure your elbows are not hyper-extended. Rotate your upper arms so that the soft part of the elbows face each other.
  • Engage your Bandhas and draw your belly-button in toward your spine, allowing the spine to come into full flexion.
  • Feel your pelvic floor muscles engage as you flex the spine. Exhale.
  • Inhale as you come back into cat lift, lengthening one vertebra at a time.
  • Keep the abdominals engaged each time you extend the spine. Create space between the vertebrae all the way from the crown of your head to your tailbone.
  • Do your best to flex predominantly from the lower spine. The thoracic spine rounds as we age while the lower spine tends to become stiffer.
  • Release your spine back to neutral while remaining on all fours.

Preparatory Poses

Counter Poses

hands on adjustments for Cat Pose