The cat pose is the yoga asana you need to end backache
By Emily Hagan | Published on Oct 18, 2023
Postures inspired by nature have a magical way of reminding us of the interconnectedness of all living beings. The world is brimming with inspiration and wisdom waiting to be discovered. Take cats, for instance. They are masters of relaxation. When they awaken from their slumber, they gracefully stretch and arch their spines in both directions. So, why don’t we follow suit?
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Introducing the cat pose, also known as marjariasana in Sanskrit, which is practiced in numerous yoga schools as a back-opening exercise.
How to Do the Cat Pose at Home
Let’s explore how you can incorporate the cat pose into your home practice:
Start by assuming a tabletop position, with your palms under your shoulders and knees beneath your pelvic bone. Relax your toes, ensuring they point backward.
Spread your fingers wide to distribute the weight on the tips of your fingers, alleviating strain on your wrists.
Keep your gaze downwards, maintaining a straight neck.
Now, elongate your shoulders away from your ears. Embrace your feline grace! Align the tip of your head with your tailbone.
Inhale deeply, lifting your chin and tailbone upward, while pushing your shoulders further away from your ears. Feel the contraction in your spinal muscles and stretch in your abdominal muscles.
Exhale and drop your head, bringing your chin towards your chest and your tailbone towards the yoga mat. This creates a hollow abdominal region.
Continue this rhythmic movement, synchronizing it with your breath, for at least 10 to 12 rounds.
Finally, transition into vajrasana to conclude the exercise.
Unleash the Benefits of the Cat Pose
The cat pose offers an array of benefits for your mind, body, and soul:
1. It Massages Your Internal Organs
This yoga pose massages abdominal organs like the adrenal glands and kidneys, stimulating and strengthening them.
2. It Strengthens and Revitalizes Your Back Muscles
By activating the spine and increasing blood flow, the cat pose releases tension in your neck and upper back area.
3. It Is a Bonafide Stress Buster
When stress weighs you down, roll out your yoga mat and delve into a few rounds of the cat pose. The breathing techniques involved connect you with the present moment. This simple pose awakens your brain, enhancing focus, coordination, and mental stability.
4. It’s an Ideal Morning Ritual
If you wake up with a stiff back, the cat pose is perfect for starting your day. It allows for gentle mobilization of your spine, promoting flexibility and comfort.
5. It’s an Excellent Warm-Up for Your Yoga Practice
The cat pose serves as an excellent introduction to your yoga journey. Enhancing muscle flexibility, it prepares you to explore more complex poses with ease.
The Best Part? You Can Do the Cat Pose Anywhere
If you’re currently reading this at your office desk, fret not! You can still enjoy the benefits of the cat pose. Remain seated, ensuring your feet are firmly planted under your knees. Maintaining an upright posture, gently grasp your knees and initiate flexion and extension movements of your spine. Remember to focus on your breath.
Through the cat pose’s opposing motions, we discover the middle ground that guides our spine to its natural alignment. This alignment is crucial during other poses (asanas), countering the effects of poor posture and ensuring a harmonious yoga practice.
So, why wait? Embrace the grace of the cat pose and bid farewell to pesky backache. Your body and soul will thank you.