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Cat-Cow Pose (Marjariasana-Bitilisana)

Watch on YouTube: Cat-Cow Yoga Pose

I once heard a teacher say, “You are only as young as your spine is flexible.”

I think it’s an old yoga adage and I think they are good words to live by. With the amount of dough we spend on elixirs and anti-age this and age reducing that I am happy to say that this “anti-aging” posture is free and always available to you! Lets break it down…

In this video we actually start with Table Top position. (2 for 1!)

The Cat Cow Pose is often considered a “neutral” position in yoga but lately I have been offering my students an opportunity to really play with opposition and sensation by using or connecting to an active table top pose as the warm up for Cat-Cow. It is here that I offer students an opportunity to check in with their spine. Wake up spine! From the crown of the head to the tip of the tailbone lives a central energetic channel. From the ground to the crown as Shiva Rea calls it. Just by bringing our attention and awareness to this channel I believe we can improve our quality of life. A connection to this line improves posture, coordination, and brings on an empowerment and grace. (More on this woo woo stuff later.)

At our table we connect to the power of that central energetic channel (the danda, or staff, as it is in Sanskrit) and we fill the body with awareness. We press up and out of our limbs filling to the brim with sensation and breath. Then we let the flood gates go and boom we are in the Cat-Cow races! Start your vinyasa, or flow, nice and slow here. Notice the sensations. Be careful that you don’t just start going through the warm-up motions to get to the other asana. (Guilty)

Use this dance up and down the spine to check in with your back and tune into the whole body. As you journey up and down your spine close your eyes and see it move from the crown to your root. Integrate with the breath and you have yourself quite the little Yoga pose. Cat-Cow can be empowering and energizing! It will leave you feeling awake, loose, and with less tension and weight in the body. This is also a common pose in most Hatha Yoga classes so you will be well equipped if you hit the mat in a public setting. Throw down your inhibitions and enjoy Marjariasana-Bitilisana! Or as my pal Dustin read it, “Marijuana Brita Filter.”

These days, I often find myself saying, “We are only as young and as happy as our spines” as we do Cat-Cow in class. Reminding students to take their time. Don’t miss the opportunity. Time with the spine can make you look and feel younger. That’s right, I said it. So, put some mindful time into the spine and of course, remember to ENJOY it.

Happy Addendum: Cat-Cow is fun and awesome for kids. Meow! Mooooo. Also a juicy Pre-natal Yoga pose for soon to be Mommies.

 

Benefits:

  • Stretches front and back body
  • Stimulates internal organs
  • Increase circulation
  • Relieve Stress
  • Improves posture and balance
  • Can assist in cramps and grouchiness
  • Can tone reproductive organs

Modifications:

  • Use a blanket or pillow to pad your knees. (Make sure the pillow is wide enough that you can have your knees under your hip points.)
  •  If you have a fussy neck, be mindful not to over extend. If you have had an injury it is safe to keep the neck in line with the torso.

6 comments on “Cat-Cow Pose (Marjariasana-Bitilisana)”

  1. “A connection to this line improves posture, coordination, and brings on an empowerment and grace.” Love those benefits! I especially want to improve my posture.

    Today I listened to the album ‘Relax: The World's Most Beautiful Music’ while doing Sukhasana, Baddha Konasana, and Marjariasana-Bitilisana. It was heaven. Thank you.

  2. Hi Adrienne thank you for these wonderful videos. I'm a total newbie yogi to be. I love the way you explain the poses. I'm wondering if you could help me learn how to breathe. I know that sounds silly but I have a hard time breathing through my belly while doing yoga meditating or even just throughout my day. Actually if you have any tricks on breathing productively or properly through the day that would be great also. I know when I get stressed I actually make it worst by getting frustrated and holding my breath no not on purpose my body just does it nd when I do breathe they are short
    Thanks a bunch hope to hear from you soon and keep up the great work!
    karen

  3. I so appreciate these wonderful resources - I'm 60 yrs old and you have refreshed my appreciation and practice of yoga. Thank you so much.

  4. When I try to go into Cat Pose, I feel like my upper and lower lungs are both constricted/compressed...I can drop my belly and extend my neck and crown, but can’t inhale any breath (or barely) in cat position. Why? Thank you so much for all your wonderful videos, sharing your expertise, and considering my question.

  5. Mountain pose is a simple standing pose with the feet together and standing vertically upright. It's one of the easiest yoga poses for better posture. This pose also strengthens the whole of the legs, including the feet and ankles, potentially reducing flat feet and improving plantar fasciitis. It also improves one's posture and may relieve sciatica.

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