Marjariasana commonly known as Cat Pose and Cat Stretch Pose in English is a back stretching pose. The Sanskrit name Marjariasana is made up of two words, Marjari and asana, where Marjari means cat and asana meaning posture. During the practice of this asana, the body is stretched in a similar way as that of a cat and hence the name. This asana is useful in getting relief from menstrual cramps as it massages the female reproductive system, there are also several other benefits of Marjariasana, but first, let us know about the steps to practice Marjariasana.
Steps to practice Marjariasana (Cat Stretch Pose)
It is very important to know the right alignment of the body in an asana to avoid any kind of injury and to attain the maximum benefits of it. Here are the steps to practice Marjariasana correctly:
- Sit in Vajrasana, stand on the knees.
- Lean in the forward direction. Place the hands flat on the floor with palms down and fingers facing towards the forward direction.
- Keep the hands in a line with the knees. Keep the arms and thighs perpendicular to the floor. It is the starting position.
- Inhale a deep breath and raise the head along with putting stress on the spine in the downward direction, so that the back can turn into a concave shape.
- Expand the abdomen as much as possible without forcing; fill the lungs with maximum air possible. Hold breath for a minimum of 3 seconds. Exhale and lower the head while stretching the spine in the upward direction.
- Then contract the expanded abdomen and pull in the buttocks.
- Leave the head between the arms facing the thighs.
- Hold the breath for 3 seconds, stressing the arch of the spine and the contraction of the abdomen. Relax and practice again.
A minimum of 3-5 rounds should be performed when practicing this asana for general purpose. In case of some specific purposes, the number of rounds may be increased. It is more effective when practiced after practicing Vajrayana.
Precautions for Marjariasana ( Cat Stretch Pose)
The precautions for Marjariasana to be kept in mind are given below:
- One is advised to be careful while expanding and contracting the abdomen.
- Do not stretch the body beyond its limits as it may cause pain and strain muscles.
- While performing this asana during pregnancy one should stretch the abdomen only mildly.
- People having any kind of head or knee injury should avoid practicing this asana.
These are the precautions for Marjariasana for a safer practice.
Benefits of Marjariasana (Cat Stretch Pose)
The health benefits of Marjariasana are as follows :
- Practicing this asana on a regular basis improves the posture of the body, strengthens the muscles and joints.
- Gently massages the abdominal region and increase the flexibility of spine, shoulder & neck.
- Improves the flow of blood in the body hence better circulation.
- Practicing this asana is beneficial for women as it tones the female reproductive system, provides relief from menstrual cramps.
All of these are the main benefits of Marjariasana which one can experience gradually on regular practice.
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