Sanskrit Name: Marjaryasana
Marjari = Cat
Asana = Cow
The cat pose yoga is fairly a simple pose. But in the event you find it hard to round the top of your upper back, you could ask a friend or your instructor to help you out. Ask them to place their hand between and above the shoulder blades so that it can help activate that region.
It might be a good idea to start off the practice with the preparatory poses so that your muscles are flexed enough by the time you come to this asana.
According to the CDC, back pain strikes 80 percent of the people in our population at some time in their life. This makes it imperative that we teach our spines to be more flexible through poses such as Cat and Cow. Think about it, your back health means everything when it comes to living your life fully! Keeping a healthy spine is crucial and part of that includes flexibility training.
- Start on your hands and knees (all fours). Knees directly under hips and wrists, elbows and shoulders in line with each other. Neck in line with your spine, gaze resting softly on the floor.
- Spread your fingers and press through the base of the fingers and the finger tips.
- Exhale and round your spine towards the ceiling, lifting the side waists.
- Pull in your abdominals and tuck your tailbone, gently contracting your glutes. Try to keep your shoulders and knees in position.
- Release your head towards the floor and press firmly into your hands.
- Inhale and come back into your neutral starting position.
If you experience anxiety, it is best to avoid breath retention due to the potential spike in the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight response center) and focus on the exhale to promote the parasympathetic nervous system (rest/digest response center).
Benefits of Marjariasana (The Cat Pose)
- Marjariasana loosens up the spine and make it flexible. It gets rid of stiffness in the back muscles.
- It is good for those suffering from Spondylitis and slipped disk.
- Marjariasana also has an indirect effect on the organs of the lower abdomen, including the digestive system, intestines and the reproductive organs. It gives a good massage and stretch to these organs.