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Core Yoga Poses

Cat Pose

This pose provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs.

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Marjari = cat

Cat pose can help relax the spine, alleviate lower back pain, and stretch out the neck and torso.

Cat Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor. Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor.

See also Poses for Building Balance and Core Strength

Step 2

As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.

Step 3

Inhale, coming back to neutral “tabletop” position on your hands and knees.

Step 4

This pose is often paired with Cow Pose on the inhale for a gentle, flowing vinyasa.

See also More Core Yoga Poses

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Pose Information

Sanskrit Name

Marjaryasana

Pose Level

1

Contraindications and Cautions

With a neck injury, keep the head in line with the torso.

Preparatory Poses

Follow-up Poses

Beginner’s Tip

If you have difficulty rounding the very top of the upper back, ask a friend to lay a hand just above and between the shoulder blades to help you activate this area.

Benefits

  • Stretches the back torso and neck
  • Provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs