Marjaryasana | Cat Pose | How to do Cat Pose in Yoga


cat pose

Cat pose is a pose anyone can do to stretch the back and promote spinal flexibility. Anyone can learn how to do cat pose and it remains valuable for both the beginner and the advanced practitioner.

Generally used in conjunction with cow pose, cat pose is a wonderful way to keep the spine mobile and teach the back to move with articulation - or one vertebrae at a time.

Habitually, we tend to move in large, more structure movements with our spines. This creates an inflexibility in the back which can lead to injury. For instance, if your back is stiff and you suddenly twist or bend to catch yourself from falling on the ice or to grab someone who is falling near you, the back muscles can easily be pulled or the discs moves out of position.

When spinal flexibility positions are practiced on a regular basis, the back has prepared for such quick twists or bends and is less likely to experience an injury.

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. If you are looking for more ways to alleviate back pain.


  • come onto your hands and knees in a tabletop position
  • align your shoulders directly above your elbows and wrists; and set your hips directly above your knees. spread your fingers, gaze between your palms and bring your head to a neutral position
  • inhale and lengthen your spine, creating a flat back that is parallel to the floor
  • as you exhale, press through the ground and engage the abdominals. round your back toward the sky, tuck the tailbone and release your head toward the floor
  • hold for one breath and return to a neutral, tabletop position
  • this posture is generally practice along with bitilasana (cow pose). inhale into cow pose and exhale into cat pose for a balanced stretch

  • Beginners : 10 - 20 seconds
  • Intermediate : 20 - 40 seconds
  • Advanced: 1 - 2 minute

  • strengthens the arms, wrists and shoulders
  • relieves tension in the thoracic, cervical and lumbar spine; warming up the back for practice
  • gently massages the abdominal organs and improves digestion
  • strengthens and tones the abdominal muscles
  • increases spinal flexibility


  • knees coming out of line with the hips
  • wrists coming out of line with the shoulders
  • straining the neck


  • relax your neck rather than holding it tense so your head releases toward the mat
  • keep your shoulders away from your ears

  • try the seated version : sit on a chair or in an easy cross - legged position. place your hands on your knees and round your spine into cat pose on the out-breath. add the cow pose on the in-breath
  • try the standing version : stand with your legs hips width apart, knees slightly bent. place your hands on your thighs and round your spine on the out-breath. add the cow pose on the in-breath
  • make a cat - cow sequence into a core awakening exercise by extending out your opposite arm and leg in cow pose and then drawing the elbow back and the knee to nose in cat pose

Post a Comment