Our busy lives demand a lot from us. Increasingly, we find ourselves stressed out, pumped up on caffeine, and sleepless at bedtime. We’re constantly playing catch up with life and we rarely ever live in the moment. As a result, we end up with bad moods, bad postures, and even worse sleeping cycles. Yoga asanas like Marjariasana can help center us in this world of chaos.
This International Yoga Day, we’re teaming up with Total Yoga to bring you simple asanas that will help you sleep better. Asanas that will soothe your minds and relax your bodies so you can sleep better.
This week, we start with the simplest of asanas. A morning asana, Marjariasana benefits you most when performed after you wake up on an empty stomach. Practice this asana daily, to soothe your mind, improve your spinal alignment and the quality of your sleep.
What is Cat Pose Yoga?
The Marjariasana yoga is also called the cat pose, where the word “marjari” means cat and “asana” means pose.
This yoga posture is inspired by the cat stretch, giving your body the ever-relaxing feline stretch. It looks simple, but you will see how beneficial it is to the body as well as the mind.
Marjariasana Steps: How To Perform Cat Stretch Pose
Before you do the Marjariasana yoga, it’s important to gradually prepare your body for the stretch. In any yoga routine, a stretch like this starts with a ‘Child Pose’, also known as Balasana Yoga.
Once you prepare yourself with this pose, you can then move on to:
- Get on all fours, like a cat. Shoulder over wrists and hips over knees, with your weight evenly distributed along with your hands and knees.
- Start with a neutral spine. Focus on a point in front of you.
- Inhale and expand the belly toward the floor. Raise your chin and tilt your head backward toward the spine. Point the tailbone up as you stretch like a cat.
- Then exhale and pull the belly button in, towards the spine. The chin should rest on the chest and direct your vision toward the nose. Your back should be rounded.
- Complete as many rounds as you’d like, working toward a fluid movement that stretches and relaxes your spine.
Precautions to take before performing the Cat Pose Yoga:
In order to fully enjoy the Marjariasana benefits, you must take a few precautions while following the Marjariasana steps:
- Do not perform this cat stretch yoga if pregnant
- Until perfected, train under a certified yoga instructor
- Marjariasana should be avoided by those with knee, back or neck pain
- Do not strain yourself beyond your body’s capacity.
Benefits of Marjariasana:
- It is very good for the spine as it stretches the backbone and strengthens it while also improving its flexibility.
- The asana strengthens your wrists.
- Marjariasana benefits the shoulders by making them stronger.
- The movements in the asana massage your digestive organs and activate them. As a result, the process of digestion is improved.
- It helps tone the abs by getting rid of excess fat from around your hips.
- Since the asana requires you to be on all your fours, it enhances blood circulation as well as oxygen flow through the body.
- The cat stretch soothes the mind, thus helping you get rid of unnecessary stress and anxiety.
- The asana also aids in digestion and increased metabolism.
- This is also beneficial for those aiming for height growth or an improved posture.
- For women, the asana can soothe menstrual cramps and stiffness.
Overall, this simple asana is packed with great value for your body, mind and sleep. In order to amplify the benefits of the marjariasana yoga, you also need to ensure that your mattress and bedding supports you. An orthopedic foam mattress envelopes your body in comfort, while a soft cotton comforter coddles you to sleep.