Cat Pose (Marjariasana)  
by: Urmil Jindia & Vasanthi Bhat (

Whether it is due to heavy lifting, or due to the stressful situations I have come across so many people from children to seniors who are suffering from some kind of back pain in spite of taking all kind of medications. It is also true that they don’t find full relief, as many times medications tend to suppress the pain. It can be very difficult - even for doctors - to work out the exact cause of back pain. Back pain is the most prevalent cause of disability in people under age 45. The statistics says that four out of five adults have experienced back pain at some time in their life.

By practicing the CAT POSE early in the morning or anytime during the day instantly relieves from the above symptoms. This pose can be practiced by all age groups.

Cat Stretch (Step by step instructions):

  1. Get down on your knees.
  2. Rest your palms below your shoulders.
  3. Breathing in raise your head, while depressing your spine.
  4. Hold this position for as long as it is comfortable.
  5. Breathe naturally.
  6. Breathing out, pull your stomach in and arch your back while lowering your head.
  7. Hold this position for as long as is comfortable.
  8. Breathe naturally.
  9. Repeat 4–10 times.

Note: This pose cannot be practiced at work, unless you have privacy in the office. Good news is that you can do an alternate yoga pose at work called “Spine Stretch”. Sit with your back straight on your office chair, feet flat on the floor. Breathing in, stretch your arms in front of you and then up over your head as much as possible. Breathing out, slowly lower your arms towards the floor, bending from the hips and allowing your head to hang loose. Stay in this position for as long as you are comfortable. Stretching the arms further helps relax the neck, shoulder area, and spine. Breathe in deeply as you come up.

Points to Remember:

Make sure that feet are flat on the floor and not to over stretch.


Apart from relieving back pain, CAT POSE relaxes the arms, neck, shoulders and abdominal area. It tones the reproductive system. It provides great relief from menstrual and other cramps.

Vasanthi Bhat’s book “The Power Of Conscious Breathing in Hatha Yoga” is especially helpful for people who can find information on the Cat Pose. In addition this book has may other poses that are highly beneficial to all other stressful symptoms.