Cat pose (Marjayasana)
The Story Behind the Name:
Cat and Cow pose is a combination of two yoga poses, namely, the Cat pose (Marjayasana) and the Cow pose (Bitilasana) and they are mostly done together.
The Sanskrit name of the Cat Pose, Marjayasana, comes from marjay meaning cat and asana meaning posture. The name of the Cow Pose, Bitilasana, comes from bitil meaning cow and asana meaning posture.
The pose sequence is a gentle warmup that releases tension in the spine, but also can be helpful for increasing libido and improve the sex life.
Both the Cat and Cow poses stretch the lower spine, hips, back and core muscles. They also open the chest and lungs allowing for easier breathing.
Technical details and how to start:
- Start this pose on all fours/tabletop position. Your wrists are under your shoulders and your knees are under your hips. Spine is neutral and your weight balanced evenly across your body.
- Inhale and look up and let your stomach curve toward the floor, lifting your chin and eyes.
- Exhale, moving chin to your chest, and draw your navel toward your spine, rounding your spine toward the ceiling.
- Do it three times with 5 breaths each way.
- Relax, lengthen, strengthen and stretch the spine.
- Strengthens the mula bandha or the pelvic floor muscles or the Kegel muscles. These are the muscles that contract during orgasm. Strong Kegels muscles produce better and more controlled orgasms.
- Relieve stress.
- Create emotional balance.
- Strengthens and tones the arms and lower back.
If you feel tired, rest in Child’s pose.
- Begin with balancing weight on forearms rather than palms.
- Do it slowly from one position to another.
- If your knee caps hurt, place a soft towel beneath them.
- If doing during pregnancy, consult with your doctor first and then do it under trained supervision only.
People who decide to start practising Yoga and who are suffering from any cardiac problem, asthma, back pain, high blood pressure, neck, shoulder or spine injury or any other health related issue, should consult a doctor before starting any yogic activities and eliminate the positions that are not suitable for their particular case. Also, some particular asanas such as inversion asanas are not recommended for female practitioners who are menstruating.