Marjaryasana is a core asana and one of the most fundamental poses in various schools of yoga. The word is derived from the Sanskrit words marjari, which means “cat,” and asana, which means “pose”. As the back rounds from a hands-and-knee tabletop position, the core muscles are drawn inward toward the spine. The head should slightly lean downward.
Marjaryasana is sometimes referred to as the cat pose. Marjaryasana is said to relax the mind and lessen stress. It opens the Anahata (heart) chakra during spiritual practice, promoting self-love, kindness toward others, and unconditional love.
Marjaryasana is a straightforward pose that calls for exact body placement. The hands and knees should be placed squarely beneath the shoulders and the hips, respectively. This pose is frequently combined with bitilasana (cow pose) when the back is arched and the belly is lowered toward the ground.
It’s uncommon to see Cat Pose, also known as Marjaryasana, in a yoga class without also being instructed to do Cow Pose, also known as Bitilasana. Together, these postures help to elongate the spine and get your body warmed up before you ask it to perform any further tasks. Because it’s so common, it’s simple to practice it mindlessly or to hurry through it to get to what comes next. Speed up. Allow yourself to feel it.
Spend a moment (or longer) becoming aware of your breath and your body’s stillness. Maybe you don’t listen to the teachers and just breathe here for a while. Give in to the stretch entirely. The rest of your practice can be framed by that quiet, awareness, and breath.
Despite how simple this posture appears, it’s important to always keep in mind that proper alignment and breathing are what allow one to get the most out of their practice. The following list of 15 advantages of practicing Marjaryasana or Bidalasana is provided.
- Increases the spine’s pliability
- Enhances the body’s prana while stretching the
- spine Releases stress in the lower back, middle back, neck, and shoulders
- Fully utilizes the core muscles, building strength.
- Makes the wrists, shoulders, and arms stronger
- Strengthens the shoulder joints, knee joints, and hip joints.
- Improves digestion by gently massaging the abdominal muscles
- Excellent pose to lower tension, and insomnia, and promote restful sleep
- Enhances body posture
- A fantastic posture to lessen PMS symptoms
- A helpful prenatal and postnatal pose to practice
- Seen as a wonderful starting position for the majority of advanced backbend poses.
- The Marjaryasana, like most positions, heightens body and breath awareness.
- Anyone with fibromyalgia can use this pose as a restorative exercise.
- Opens the Solar Plexus Manipura Chakra and the Throat Vishuddhi Chakra.
Steps of Marjaryasana
The steps for performing Marjaryasana, also known as Bidalasana or the Cat Pose in English, are described here.
- Sit in Vajrasana at the center of the mat with the knees and shins bent and the hips resting on the heels.
- Here, unwind your body and take a few deep breaths while stretching your spine upward.
- Extend your arms straight out in front of you while taking a deep breath.
- Take a deep breath in and lift your torso off the mat and heels to balance on all fours (your palms and knees).
- Starting with alignment in mind, align the palms with the knees while maintaining the hip distance between them. Pace the lower feet just behind and in line with the knee while keeping the upper feet flat on the ground. As a result, the palms, knees, and feet must all be in alignment.
- To maintain the alignment, make sure the torso is parallel to the floor and that the knees and palms are positioned just below the hips.
- After settling into the position and alignment, shift the body’s weight to the middle of the spine to prevent it from falling all over the shoulders and wrists.
- Take a few deep breaths and focus directly in front of you. Along with your breathing, pay attention to how your body is moving.
- Take a deep breath in and lift your shoulders into an arch as you lift your back and pull your tummy in. Then, exhale completely. Completely exhale while moving your belly and neck.
- Deepen the upward stretch of the back, making the entire back as archlike as possible, and begin slow, deep breathing.
- The body should now resemble a cat with its back stretched out and its back deeply rounded. A cat stretches its entire body, bending its spine to the fullest, with its neck bent downward.
- To get the most out of this posture, begin deep, slow breathing while in this position, employing both the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. Here, you will loosen the body while still rounding the back and pushing the neck in, and you will stretch deeply as you exhale.
- Using the core muscles will aid in maintaining balance and stability by ensuring that the body’s weight is distributed fairly throughout the wrists and shoulders.
- Remain in this position for around 4 breaths while observing how your upper back, chest, and belly move.
- Inhale, lift your head, exhale while letting go of your body, and look ahead to unwind. Relax to return to Vajrasana after exiting the stance. Repeat the Marjaryasana exercise and hold the position for at least 8 breaths this time. Inhale again.
- Cat pose and cow pose are typically done simultaneously since the movement of the spine and the various muscle contractions promote flexibility and posture.
- Exit Marjaryasana and settle into Wide Child’s Pose for a full rest.
Marjaryasana or Cat Pose Variations
- Posing Cat With Blocks
- Bring your forearms to blocks if you are experiencing pain in your hands or wrists.
- Try sturdy cushions or tiny piles of books if you don’t have any blocks.
- Posing Cat in a Chair
- Put your feet under your knees and space your hips apart while sitting in a chair. (Taller people might need to sit on blankets that have been folded.
- To make your knees 90 degrees apart if you are shorter, you might need to place folded blankets or blocks beneath your feet.)
- Take a deep breath and sit up straight. Release your chin toward your chest, round your spine, and exhale.