Marjariasana: Yoga for better sleep

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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 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, Marajariasana is best performed after you wake up on an empty stomach. Practise this asana daily, to soothe your mind, improve your spinal alignment and the quality of your sleep.

What is the Marjariasana?

The Marjariasana is also called the cat pose, where the word “marjari” means cat and “asana” means pose.

Marjariasana: Yoga for better sleep

This yoga posture is inspired by the cat stretch, gives 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.

This is how you perform Marjariasana:

  • Get on all fours, like a cat. Shoulder over wrists and hips over knees, with your weight evenly distributed along 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 backwards 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.

A simple asana, with many benefits.

  1. It is very good for the spine as it stretches the back bone and strengthens it while also improving its flexibility.
  2. The asana strengthens your wrists.
  3. Marjariasana benefits the shoulders by making them stronger.
  4. The movements in the asana massages your digestive organs and activates them. As a result, the process of digestion is improved.
  5. It helps tone the abs by getting rid of excess fat from around your hips.
  6. Since the asana requires you to be on all your fours, it enhances blood circulation as well as oxygen flow through the body.
  7. The cat stretch soothes the mind, thus helping you get rid of unnecessary stress and anxiety.