How To Do Marjariasana (Cat Stretch)
Quite popular amongst health and fitness enthusiasts nowadays, the practice of Yoga basically originates from ancient Hindu scriptures. It consists of a variety of poses which are aimed to boost one’s immunity, longevity and flexibility and are also believed to aid in weight loss. However, yoga practice has stretched far and wide and reached across all the world's continents. The East and the West- both cultures have recognised and accepted that yoga poses may be beneficial for both physical and mental health. Amongst the many popular yoga poses is the Marjariasana cat stretch yoga.
So, what is cat pose yoga? The marjariasana cat stretch yoga observes and utilises the feline’s movements. The name ‘marjariasana yoga’ literally originates from the words marjari, which translates as ‘cat’ and asana, which translates as ‘posture’. One literally poses like a cat and stays in the position for a while to experience the marjariasana benefits.
How to Practice Marjariasana Cat Stretch Yoga
To reap the Marajariasana Cat Stretch Yoga’s benefits, it is important to understand the steps mentioned below and follow them to the tee:
- Sit down and come onto your fours. Ensure that your back forms a tabletop and your hands and feet form the legs of the table.
- Keeping your arms perpendicular to the floor, put your hands directly under your shoulders and place them flat on the ground. Keep your knees apart as wide as your hips.
- Hold your chin up and look ahead.
- Inhale, tilt your head back and compress your buttocks while your tail bone and push your navel down. You may feel the burn at this point.
- Hold this Marjariasana cat stretch yoga pose and breathe in and out deeply.
- Followed by a countermovement. The countermovement is: exhale, lower your chin to your chest and, try to create an arch using your back, loosen your buttocks.
- Hold this pose for a few seconds before returning back to the first table-top pose.
- Repeat the Marjariasana cat stretch yoga five or six times in a session.
- Repeat all movements slowly and gradually for maximum impact and benefit.
Tips for practising Marjariasana Yoga
- Try and initiate the movements from your hips and spine and not the arms.
- If your knees hurt while performing the Marjaiasana cat stretch yoga, place a thick blanket or mat underneath your knees as padding.
What are Cat Pose Yoga Benefits
The practice of Marjariasana benefits both our body and soul. The main yoga Marjariasana benefits are listed below:
- As with most yoga poses, the marjariasana cat stretch yoga improves one’s body’s blood circulation.
- Marjariasana yoga improves the body's flexibility, especially in the spinal area.
- By performing the marjariasana cat stretch yoga, the wrists and shoulders are also strengthened. This is a great benefit for those who suffer from occupational health issues which cause joint pain in the wrists, back and shoulders.
- The marjariasana benefits our digestive system by massaging our digestive organs and improving their functioning.
- What is cat pose yoga used for fat loss? Performing the marjariasana yoga tones the abdomen by burning fat in the area.
- Marjariasana yoga is also a great stress buster as it helps to relax the mind.
- Women suffering from painful menstruation cramps can also practice marjariasana yoga as the cat pose massages the female reproductive system.
Contraindications of Yoga Marjariasana
Although the practice of Marjariasana yoga renders a number of benefits, it should be exercised with caution. It is recommended to consult with your doctor or an expert before practising Marjariasana if you have any health issues. It should be completely avoided by certain groups of people that are listed below:
- Those who have a recent injury to the shoulders, wrists, neck, hip, knee and back should avoid practising the Marjariasana yoga, especially without expert supervision.
- Those who suffer from high blood pressure.
- People who experience migraines.
- People who have spondylitis.
- People who have arthritis of the wrists and the knee.
- Pregnant women should refrain from practising this pose.
As you can see, the Marjariasana cat stretch yoga is a simple but powerful yoga pose which can improve the flexibility and blood circulation in the spine and abdomen areas. It is one of the simplest asanas but with a variety of benefits associated with its practice. It does not require one to be flexible or demonstrate a previous knowledge of yoga. However, if you have a history of medical problems, always make sure to perform the first few sessions of the Marjariasana under expert supervision to avoid resulting in unforeseen injuries.
Are you also a fan of yoga and witnessed its many benefits? Or are you new to practising yoga? Whether you’re a newbie, an amateur or a pro, you are welcome to try the Marjariasana cat stretch yoga and experience its many benefits and do let us know how was your experience. Also read Viparita Karani Legs Up The Wall Pose : Yoga For Sleep
Authored By: Divya Shankar
About Author: Divya Shankar is a multifaceted content writer with 7+ years of experience. She has exclusive writing expertise in ayurveda.