Health Benefits of Cat & Cow Poses (Marjaryasana & Bitilasana):
Cat pose, or Marjaryasana (pronounced mahr-jahr-YAH-suh-nuh) and Cow pose, Bitilasana, (pronounced bee-tee-LAH-suh-nuh) are beginner level asanas usually practiced together, collectively called “Cat Cow Pose”. Of course, they are highly beneficial poses even to practice individually, but when paired together, they guarantee an overall healthy warm-up for further asanas. Cow pose and Cat pose complement each other so wonderfully that when practiced together, the benefits can be reaped twofold.
Steps to perform Cat & Cow Poses (Marjaryasana & Bitilasana):
- Get down onto your hands and knees, placing each hand directly under its shoulder and each knee under its hip. Point your fingers up to the top of your mat.
- Relax your head and neck into a neutral position, looking downward.
- Move first into Cow Pose by breathing in and relaxing your belly toward the floor.
- Visualize your breath moving into your lungs and along your back while you lift your chin and chest and look up to the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds.
- Now gently move into Cat Pose by exhaling while you pull your belly in toward your spine.
- Round your back and allow your head and neck to relax back downward.
- Visualize your breath travelling out of your body along your spine and out your mouth and nose.
- Inhale again, transitioning into Cow pose.
- Exhale again, transitioning into Cat pose.
Benefits of Cat & Cow Poses (Marjaryasana & Bitilasana):
- It allows more coordinated physical movement
- It greatly improves flexibility
- It improves posture and helps improve your walk
- It acts as an excellent warm-up for the entire body
- Since it actively stretches your back, torso, and neck, it improves your spine alignment
- It strengthens and stimulates the abdominal muscles
- It helps in regulation of breathing patterns
- It stimulates your kidneys and adrenal glands
- It calms you down and relieves stress
- It is greatly beneficial in relieving back pain