Marjariasana, मार्जरी आसन also known as Cat Pose in Yoga is excellent for improving flexibility of the spine. Most of the asanas or poses have been adopted by observing animals. The cat family has one of the most flexible spines in the animal kingdom. Marjariasana or the Cat stretch yoga pose is adopted after close observation of the domestic cat. With regular practice, you will feel that stiffness gradually disappears and your back muscles and spine become flexible.
How to do Cat Stretch yoga pose and health benefits of Cat Stretch yoga
How to do Marjariasana (Cat pose)
- Sit in Vajrasana, lean forward putting both your hands perpendicular to the ground and palms on the floor pointing forward.
- You can shift the legs slightly apart. Now, your position resembles a standing cat with your trunk parallel to the ground and thighs vertical and straight.
- Relax your body in this base position – shoulder, back muscles and thighs should all relax.
- In this position, exhale completely letting your belly go inwards. You should move your head inwards between your shoulders while exhaling. Your back will automatically bend and arch upwards when you do this.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, take deep breath and begin with second step.
- The second step is to inhale and arch your back in the opposite direction.
- When you do this, the spine will bend slightly downwards. Now arch your head, neck and shoulders backwards as if you are looking up.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, take a deep breath and get back to the original position.
- Take 3-6 breaths each time holding the breath for up to 30 seconds.
- This process of exhaling and inhaling can be repeated as many times (atleast 6 times) as you are comfortable.
- Do this pose with slow and deep breathing focusing on the stretch caused at back, neck and shoulders in the process.
Health Benefits of Marjariasana (Cat Stretch yoga)
- Brings flexibility to the spine
- Strengthens wrists and shoulders
- Improves digestion
- Relaxes the mind
- Improves blood circulation in the body
- Relieves tensions from your lower back
- It is a good stress buster
- Strengthens and tones your abdomen
Precautions of Marjariasana (Cat pose)
- Avoid straining your body beyond more than its capacity and ability.
- If suffering from a head injury, you should ensure that your head is maintained in direct line with your torso.