Marjaryasana is known as the cat posture, since Marja means cat in Sanskrit. It is a highly popular and frequently performed asanas in the world. The postures that we maintain in our daily lives determine our overall health and well-being. Marjaryasana is highly effective in correcting many of the wrong postures that we assume during many occasions, thereby enhancing our body health.
When the body is healthy, mind also functions clearly and remains active. However, you should practice this asana and other asanas under the guidance of an experienced yoga master, since performing the steps accurately is very important to obtain maximum benefits from each asana. Any wrong steps or movements will result only in pain or injury, which should be avoided. The movements in any asana should be smooth and slow, without any sudden or jerky movements.
Procedure for Marjaryasana
- You should first get yourself into a kind of table top position, keeping your hands and knees on the ground. The knees should be directly below your hips. The shoulders, elbows and wrists should be perpendicular to the ground and in a straight line with each other. You should keep your head in the center between your shoulder and the focus should be firmly locked on the ground.
- You should now exhale and raise the spine towards the ceiling by rounding it. Your hands and knees should remain in the original position and should not move during this exercise.
- You should release and lower your head towards the ground, but the chin should not touch your chest. You can remain in this posture as long as you feel comfortable.
- You should slowly return back to the original table top position while inhaling. You can repeat this asana any number of times you want.
Precautions and Contraindications for Marjaryasana
Marjaryasana may be easy for some people, but others may find it slightly difficult. Hence, you should ensure that you do not feel any pain or strain while doing this asana or any other asana. You should keep the movement within your ability and capacity and should never push beyond that limit. If you have been suffering from any head injury, you should not lower your head but keep it straight in line with your chest. You should always perform preparatory asanas, so that you are able to flex your body muscles when you perform each asana, especially the intermediate and advanced or tougher asanas.
Benefits of Marjaryasana
Marjaryasana provides sturdiness and overall durability to your spinal column. This asana not only plays a key role to correct the posture of an individual, but also invigorates the spine and internal organs. It relieves tension in the lower back. Very few people know that Marjaryasana also plays a significant role in purifying the blood and regulating the blood circulation in the human body. It is a very good stress releasing workout and hence, it is used widely as a very good stress reliever, since stress is one of the major issues in the lives of most of us.
Variation in Marjaryasana
While remaining in Marjaryasana, you can turn your head to focus the eyes on your left hip, while moving the hip slightly towards your head. You should repeat it towards the right side, but you should breathe in before changing the position. You can do this variation for 10 or 15 breaths. You can also move your hands to a more forward direction and move the hips in a slow circular motion.
Preparatory and Follow-Up Asanas for Marjaryasana
The preparatory asanas for Marjaryasana are Balasana and Garudasana. The follow-up asana is Gomukhasana but your yoga master will be able to teach you other preparatory and follow-up asanas.