Cat Pose - Marjariasana

Marjariasana, or the cat pose in yoga is one of the most widely known and commonly performed poses in the world.

An individual’s posture is considered to be a very important aspect of being able to lead a happy and healthy life and the cat pose is considered to be one of the most effective yoga poses when it comes to correcting posture.


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When choosing to take up yoga, it is important to curb your enthusiasm a little and perform the beginners’ poses before rushing head on into the more complicated ones. The beginners’ poses will help condition your body to be able to perform the more complicated ones, thereby reducing any chances of suffering from some serious ligament or muscle tissue damage

Steps :

Performing the cat pose steps accurately is an important part of being able to enjoy the full benefits of the routine. This will also help in avoiding unnecessary pain and injury once the pose has been performed. Given below are the steps to follow when performing the cat pose.

  1. You will need to first get into a table top position with your hands and knees on the floor. Posture wise, it is important for your knees to be directly below the hips and the wrists, elbows and shoulders in line with each other as well as perpendicular to the floor. Your head must be positioned in the center with your focus locked firmly on the floor.
  2. The next phase of the pose is to exhale while rounding your spine towards the ceiling. Ensure that your hands and knees remain in their original position and do not move at all at this time.
  3. You must then release your head towards the floor, but avoid forcing the chin towards the chest.
  4. The next part of the cat pose steps is to inhale while returning your body to the tabletop position that you originally started from and repeat as many times as your want.

Most scenarios will see the cat pose combined with the cow pose on the inhale phase for a better, gentler flowing movement.

Precautions :

Though the cat pose could be easy for some, it is necessary that effective precaution be taken in order to avoid any sort of injury that could affect the body.

  • Strain on certain muscles in the body is generally as far as it goes when it comes to possibilities of something going wrong and, as a result, means that you avoid straining your body beyond more than its capacity and ability.
  • In the event that you are already suffering from a head injury, you should ensure that your head is maintained in direct line with your torso.
  • It will also help to have a trained yoga professional to guide you with the movements so that you perform the poses in the right manner and not stress out your body.
  • Begin with preparatory poses in order to flex your muscles and prepare them to perform the difficult yoga postures.

Beginner’s Tip :

If in the event you experience some amount of difficulty in rounding the very top of the upper back, you can always ask a friend to simply place his or her hand on just above and between the shoulder blades in order to help you activate this area. Taking help to perform the pose will keep you interested and also help in keeping away disappointment.

Benefit to Body Part :

  • Overall durability as well as sturdiness of the spinal column.
  • While playing a significant role in correcting an individual’s posture, the cat pose helps reinvigorate the spine as well as internal organs and relieves tensions within the lower back.
  • Something that not many people know about the cat pose is that it also plays a major role in the purification of blood within the human body.

Therapeutic Applications :

  • As far as therapeutic applications of the cat pose go, it is regularly included in a number of stress releasing workouts.
  • Given that stress is a very common factor in most people’s lives, all over the world, the cat pose is one of the most widely used methods of stress relief. However, it is important to perform the pose properly in order to maximize the amount of stress release.

Variations :

  • The first variation will require you to start in the same table top position as in the original version of the cat pose and then while exhaling turn that head and focus your eyes on the left hip.
  • Do this while simultaneously moving your hip towards your head.
  • Breathe in and return to your starting position before repeating on the other side. You should do this movement for about 10 or 15 breaths.
  • The second variation will see you begin in the tabletop position and then let your hands move in a forward direction or perpendicular as you move your hips in a circular motion.
  • You should then inhale and move forward while exhale and move backwards. Again, continuing this for about 15 breaths should make up your complete workout on this pose.

Preperatory Pose :

Follow Up Poses :

  • The cow pose is considered to be the best follow up pose in combination with the cat pose.
  • However, you can always ask your yoga teacher to help you develop other follow up poses to help with your workout.
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