Marjariasana - Cat Pose

Cat Pose — Marjariasana

Much of the wisdom of yoga comes from a simple observation of Mother Nature. Amongst animals, the cat family stands out for their multidirectional spinal stretching, which is full of relaxation and enjoyment! Marjariasana is one of the neutralizing poses of yoga, which stretches the spine both backwards and forwards. This back and forth movements helps circulate spinal fluids, and increase flexibility while helping stabilize the back. In addition, this pose massages internal organs and can help tone the female reproductive system. So stretch like a cat, and enjoy the feline flexibility of spinal stretching.

POSE TYPE
Kneeling pose

POSE CATEGORY
Forward/Back bending
Core

ORIGIN
T.K.V. Desikachar
Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Bihar)

SANSKRIT
Marjariasana
मार्जरी आसन

PRONUNCIATION
mar-jar-ee-AHS-anna

TRANSLATION
Cat (Marjari)
Pose (Asana)

Performance

STARTING
Kneel on the floor, knees hip distance apart, shins parallel on the ground, soles pointing upward.
The weight of the torso is distributed equally between legs/knees and arms/hands.

ENTERING
Thighs and arms are perpendicular to the ground. The arms are straight, and the hands are placed directly under the shoulders. The fingers are spread and are pointing forward.
With the inhalation, slowly lower the abdomen toward the ground, arching the spine, expanding the abdomen, lifting the chest and finally the head.
Remain for a moment in this position while holding the breath.
With the exhalation, slowly move the spine in the opposite direction, contracting the abdomen, arching the entire back in a firm cat stretch, while extending also the arms and shoulders. Move the head downward, so that the face is now directed toward the thighs.
Remain for a moment in this position while holding the breath.
Repeat these slow and smooth movements with awareness, cultivating a perfect synchronicity between motion and breath.

RELEASING
Move the buttocks onto the heels and bring the torso back into a vertical position.

Effects

PHYSIOLOGICAL
– Stretches the back, torso and neck.
– Massages the spine and belly organs.
– Tones the female reproductive system.

ENERGETIC
– Activates the Navel Chakra.

PSYCHOLOGICAL
– Calms the mind, softens the emotions, and releases stress.

Contra-Indications

None.

Chakra Correlation

Navel Chakra

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