Are you clumsy and always looking for approval? Do you want to be agile and calm while multitasking through life? If yes, then practice the cat pose to learn how to experience joy in every moment of life.
A beginner- level yoga asana, the cat pose helps in opening the spine, chest, and lungs. The pose is especially beneficial to people who stand for long periods.
Let’s dive deeper and understand how to practice the cat pose, its benefits and how to customize it to suit your needs and fitness levels.
Cat pose – Step by Step Instructions
Time needed: 10 minutes.
How to practice the correct posture of the cat pose
- Stand straight with your feet slightly apart
Bring your body into a tabletop position with shoulders above your wrists and hips above your knees. Make sure the bodyweight is evenly distributed on hands and legs. Head should be loose, in the center with eyes on the floor maintaining a flat line from your head to tailbone.- Advertisement -
- Raise your arms with palms facing inwards
Inhale a deep breath through your nose and connect with your breathing. Bring a sense of calm in the body and mind and prepare yourself for the pose.
- Bend your knees
Exhale and round your spine slowly towards the ceiling. Tuck your head down with your chin moving towards your chest (they don’t have to touch). Lift your shoulder blades slightly to bring them in line with your spine. Keep your buttocks compressed. Hold this position for a few seconds.
- Stretch your lower back
Inhale and come back gently to the beginning tabletop position (Step 1)
In case you have a rigid upper back or any difficulty in opening that area, ask a friend to gently exert some pressure on the shoulder blades to help you ease into the pose.
Also, try and exert pressure from your tailbone as you begin the pose and it will make you aware of every curve in the back and release energy blockages.
“Exercises are like prose, whereas Yoga is the poetry of movements.
Once you understand the grammar of yoga; you can write your poetry of movements.” – Amit Ray
Best time to perform
Ideally, mornings are the best time for practicing the cat poses since it stretches and opens up your spine, gearing you up for the day ahead. In case you can’t work out in the mornings, the evenings are a good time too. Like with all yoga asanas it is essential to keep a clean bowel and have your last meal at least 4 hours before beginning the workout.
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1. Health benefits
The cat pose balances body weight on arms and knees improving blood and spinal fluid circulation. The yoga asana is excellent for burning abdominal fat and correcting the posture.
2. Therapeutic benefits
The cat pose slows the breathing process and calms the mind. It is an excellent pose to help you connect to the present moment and bring gratefulness into your perception. The yoga asana helps you manage menstruation cramps and depression symptoms.
If you have a neck injury or an aggravated case of cervical, it is advisable to keep your head in a neutral position and not move it around. If you have weak/ injured wrists you can try the seated or lying down version of cat pose. In case of knee pain, you can try this pose with some padding under the knees.
The simple ashtanga yoga asana is suitable for beginners and strengthening the spine. It reduces stress and prepares the body for more difficult yoga postures.
Preparatory poses – Balasana, Garudasana
Follow up poses – Bitilasana, Adho mukha svanasana
Alternate poses – Balasana
Sanskrit name – Marjaryasana (pronounced as mar-jar-ee-ahh-sanna)
Marjay – means cat
asana – pose
The yoga asana gets its name from the resemblance to a cat rounding its back.
Difficulty level – Beginner
Fun fact – Try the dancing cat pose variation. When in tabletop position, start by extending your right hand and left leg. Give a moment to your body to maintain balance. As you begin rounding the spine, bring the knee and elbow towards the chest. Hold the position for a few seconds and as you inhale back slowly into the tabletop position extend back the leg and arm bringing back the body into a straight line. Now, repeat with the other leg and dance your way to fitness.