Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)
- Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with a neutral, flat back. Your knees are directly below your hips, and your hands are below your shoulders. Your head is in line with your spine, with your eyes looking at the floor.
- As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, while keeping your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor. Don’t force your chin to your chest. [photo]
- Inhale and come back to neutral tabletop position on hands and knees.
- This pose is often paired with Cow Pose on the inhale for a gentle, flowing vinyasa (breath-synchronized movement).
Cat Pose benefits:
- Improves posture and balance
- Stretches and strengthens the neck and spine
- Stretches the hips and back
- Increases coordination
- Massages and stimulates organs in the belly, like the kidneys and adrenal glands
- Creates emotional balance
- Eases stress and calms the mind
Cat Pose cautions and tips:
- If you have neck pain or an injury, keep the head in line with the torso.
- If you find it difficult to round the very top of the upper back, ask a friend to put a hand just above and between the shoulder blades to help you activate this area.
See the dropdown menu for more yoga poses.