AnatomyAbs, Back, Hips, Lungs, Shoulders, Spine
Pose TypeBackbend, Core
Marjaryasana (mar-jar-ee-AHS-anna) marjari = cat
- 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
- Wrist injury
- Neck injury (align head with torso)
- Back injury or recent surgery
- 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 practiced along with Bitilasana (Cow pose). Inhale into Cow pose and exhale into Cat pose for a balanced stretch.
MODIFY OR REPLACE
- Chair Cat pose
- Tuck the toes under the feet, or rest the tops of your feet on the ground for comfort.
- If your knees are sensitive, place a blanket on the floor beneath them.
- Bitilasana (Cow pose)
- Thread the Needle pose (Parsva Balasana)
- Push down through the hands to help round the back.
- Draw the abdominals in and tuck the tailbone.
- Release your neck and let the head go.
- Make this a balancing pose by extending the opposite arm and leg as you inhale. As you exhale, curl the extended elbow and knee to the chest. Come back to center and switch sides. Try to synchronize movement with breath.
WATCH OUT FOR
- Knees coming out of line with the hips
- Wrists coming out of line with the shoulders
- Straining the neck