An Easy Guide to Cat Pose, or Marjaryasana

Cat Pose, or Marjaryasana, stretches the back torso and neck, to relieve stiffness, tension and stress. It is great for relieving back pain, and improving sleep, as it helps the body to feel relaxed and calm.

Cat pose

Partner Cat Pose with Cow Pose for a soothing back, chest and neck stretch, and belly massage. This yoga pose is great when you're all stressed out or overly tired.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Cat Pose, or Marjaryasana in easy steps

Step 1:

Start on your hands and knees with the back straight. Place a blanket under your knees for padding if required.

Step 2:

Your knees should be directly under your hips, your hands and wrists in line with your shoulders and your head an extension of your spine, eyes down.

Step 3:

On an exhalation, slowly arch the spine upwards.

Step 4:

Engage the abdominal muscles by moving the navel towards the spine. Move the tailbone down towards the feet..

Step 5:

Push through the hands to lift and broaden the shoulders.

Step 6:

Release your head but keep the neck active.

Step 7:

Inhale and return to the neutral position on your hands and knees, then repeat eight to ten times

Step 8:

This pose is usually done in combination with Cow Pose for a gentle spinal warm up.

Cat pose

Yoga pose category:  Kneeling

Level: 2

Cat Pose is an excellent beginners’ pose. However if you’re unsure your back is aligned properly, try practicing in front of a mirror to check your back is arched correctly.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Marjary - cat

Asana - pose

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Cat Pose has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:


Back pain




Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Cat Pose if you have any of the following health conditions: 

Neck injury

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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.