How To Do Cat and Cow Pose (Marjaryasana and Bitilasana)

Cat-Cow pose or Marjaryasana and Bitilasana in Sanskrit. This gentle flow between two postures not only builds flexibility in the spine. It also strengthens and stimulates the abdominal organs.

In this article, I will guide you through the proper execution of these poses while sharing beginner tips and highlighting common errors to avoid. Additionally, I will provide valuable insight into the contraindications of cat and cow pose to ensure your safety during practice.

How To Do Cat-Cow Pose Video

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is a list of steps to do Cat Cow Pose:

  1. Begin on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  2. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your tailbone and head towards the ceiling. This is Bitilasana, or Cow Pose.
  3. As you exhale, round your spine towards the ceiling, tucking your chin towards your chest and bringing your tailbone towards your knees. This is Marjaryasana, or Cat Pose.
  4. Continue to move slowly and smoothly between the two poses, synchronizing your breath with your movements.
  5. Try to initiate the movement from your tailbone. Move through each vertebra of your spine, rather than simply collapsing or arching your back.
  6. You can also add movements to your neck and head, looking up towards the ceiling and tucking your chin towards your chest in Cat Pose.
  7. Move through several rounds, focusing on the stretch and movement in your spine.
  8. When you’re ready to come out of the pose, return to a neutral tabletop position.

7 Benefits of Cat-Cow

Here are some of the benefits of the Cat-Cow yoga pose:

  1. Improves Posture and Balance: The asana strengthens and lengthens the spine, which can help improve both posture and balance.
  2. Stretches the Body: This pose provides a gentle stretch to the back torso and neck, and softly stimulates the abdominal organs.
  3. Increases Flexibility: Regularly performing can increase flexibility in the neck, shoulders, and spine. The movement also stretches the muscles of the hips, back, abdomen, chest, and lungs.
  4. Massages the Spine: The flowing movement helps massage the spine and, in doing so, helps to distribute spinal fluid throughout the spinal column.
  5. Relieves Stress: The pose is a great stress reliever. It promotes deep breathing, which can help calm the mind and release tension in the body.
  6. Strengthens and Tones: It can also strengthen and tone the abdomen, and the lower and upper back.
  7. Promotes Healthy Kidneys: This pose is also beneficial for the health of the kidneys.
Yoga cat pose Marjaryasana / Canva
Yoga Cat Pose Marjaryasana

Beginner Tips

Boost your balance and build strength by beginning with basic variations of both. These poses, are often used as preparatory poses in yoga.

Start by sitting in an easy pose with your legs crossed and spine straight. This will help you open the chest and prepare for the movements ahead.

To perform the cat pose, start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under hips. As you inhale, lift your tailbone towards the ceiling, round your spine, and tuck your chin towards your chest.

This stretch helps to lengthen and stretch the back muscles. While developing postural awareness.

Next, transition into the cow pose by exhaling and dropping your belly towards the mat. Lift your head up towards the ceiling. Arching your back gently as you do so. This movement helps to improve flexibility in the spine and promotes spinal movement.

By practicing these two poses together in a flowing sequence, you can develop both strength and flexibility in a gentle manner. Remember to focus on deep breathing throughout each movement. As it relieves stress and calms the mind.

Now that you’ve learned how to properly perform these poses. Let’s move on to common errors that beginners tend to make without even realizing it.

Common Errors

Improve your form by making sure your back isn’t rounding or sagging during the movement. In marjaryasana bitilasana, it’s important to maintain a neutral spinal position to maximize the benefits of this pose.

To do so, focus on these key points:

  • Arch your back: As you move into cat pose, imagine pulling your belly button towards the ceiling. While rounding your spine upwards like an angry cat. This helps stretch and lengthen the entire spine.
  • Engage your core: Throughout the movement, keep your core muscles activated by drawing your navel towards your spine. This’ll help stabilize and support your lower back.
  • Inhale and exhale: Coordinate each movement with your breath. As you transition from cat to cow, inhale deeply as you drop your belly towards the floor, lifting your chest and gaze upwards.
  • Practice this pose mindfully: Pay attention to how each part of your body feels in this pose. Notice any areas of tension or discomfort and make adjustments accordingly.

By incorporating these tips into your practice, you can ensure you’re performing the asana correctly, allowing for a more effective stretch for the spine.

Moving on to contraindications…


Although these poses have numerous benefits. It is essential to be aware of any health conditions or injuries that may prevent you from safely practicing them. Cat cow, are two fundamental yoga poses that can provide a gentle stretch to the spine and improve flexibility in the back muscles. However, there are certain contraindications that should be taken into consideration before attempting these poses.

To help you understand the contraindications better, here is a table outlining some key points:

PregnancyAvoid practicing the asana during pregnancy as it involves movement of the pelvis which may not be suitable for expecting mothers.
Spinal injuryIf you have a spinal injury or chronic back pain, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting these poses. The flexion and extension movements involved, may exacerbate your condition.
Recent abdominal surgeryIf you have undergone abdominal surgery recently, it is best to avoid these poses until you have fully healed. The movements involved could strain your abdomen and hinder the healing process.

Understanding these contraindications will help ensure that you practice safely without risking any potential harm or discomfort. Now let’s transition into the subsequent section about breath awareness, which adds another dimension to this beneficial combination of two poses.

Yoga Cow Pose Bitilasana / Canva
Yoga Cow Pose Bitilasana

Breath Awareness in Marjaryasana Bitilasana

Enhancing the experience of the asana, breath awareness adds a transformative element that can transport practitioners to a state of blissful tranquility.

When practicing bitilasana marjaryasana, it’s essential to synchronize your breath with each movement. As you move into cow pose, inhale deeply, expanding your abdomen and lifting your chin towards the ceiling.

This deep inhalation activates prana, or life force energy, allowing it to flow throughout your body.

On the exhale, transition into cat pose by rounding your spine towards the ceiling, dropping your chin towards your chest, and contracting your abdominal organs.

This gentle yoga flow not only increases spinal flexibility but also calms the nervous system by stimulating the parasympathetic response.

Incorporating breath awareness helps create a sense of mindfulness and presence in each movement. As you inhale during cow pose, focus on expanding your chest. Opening up through the shoulders while keeping your knees on the floor and hands flat on the floor for support. Exhaling as you transition into cat pose allows you to deepen the stretch in your back. Lengthening through the spine as you round it upwards.

The combination of these two poses brings flexibility to your spine. While simultaneously creating space for relaxation within yourself. Practicing these preparatory and counter poses can be beneficial not only for beginners. But also for experienced yogis looking to add more balance and fluidity to their practice.

Incorporating breath awareness is just one way to enhance this gentle yoga flow. By focusing on conscious breathing throughout these postures, you’re able to connect with yourself on a deeper level. While gaining physical benefits such as increased spinal flexibility.

Moving mindfully from one posture to another encourages a sense of freedom within oneself that extends beyond just this particular sequence of movements. It sets an intention for the rest of your practice. It can be carried into your daily routine, allowing you to find tranquility in the midst of life’s challenges.

So let’s explore how incorporating the posture into your daily routine can bring even more harmony and balance to your body and mind.

Incorporating Cat and Cow Pose into Your Daily Routine

Start your day off right by incorporating the gentle movements of cat and cow into your daily routine. It’s allowing for a harmonious balance between your body and mind.

Cat pose (Marjaryasana) and cow pose (Bitilasana) are simple yet highly effective yoga poses. They can be easily integrated into your morning or evening rituals.

These poses involve rhythmic spinal movement. By promoting flexibility and strength in your back while also providing a gentle massage to your abdominal organs. By practicing these poses regularly, you can experience not only physical benefits but also mental clarity and stress relief.

To incorporate them into your daily routine, consider the following steps:

  • Find a quiet space: Choose a calm environment where you can comfortably practice these poses without distractions.
  • Warm up: Start with a few gentle stretches or warm-up exercises to prepare your body for the movements.
  • Begin with cat pose: Come onto all fours with hands directly under shoulders and knees under hips. As you exhale, round your spine towards the ceiling, tucking your chin towards your chest. This is the cat pose.
  • Transition to cow pose: Inhale deeply as you lower your belly towards the floor, lifting your tailbone and head upwards gently. Allow for a slight arch in the back while keeping the shoulders relaxed.
  • Flow between cat and cow: Move fluidly between these two poses, synchronizing each movement with your breath. Exhale as you move into cat pose, inhale as you transition to cow pose.
  • Maintain postural awareness: Throughout the practice, pay attention to maintaining proper alignment of the spine and engaging core muscles for stability.
  • Repeat for several rounds: Aim to repeat this flow for at least 5-10 rounds or more if time allows.
  • Conclude mindfully: After completing the practice, take a moment to observe any shifts in how you feel physically and mentally. Allow yourself to fully absorb the benefits of these poses.

Incorporating the posture into your daily routine can bring a sense of balance to your body and mind. By dedicating just a few minutes each day to these gentle movements.

You can experience improved flexibility, stress relief, and heightened postural awareness. So why not give it a try and start your day off on the right foot with this revitalizing practice?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cat cow pose help with relieving back pain?

Yes, practicing these can be beneficial for relieving back pain. These poses help stretch and strengthen the spine. It also improve flexibility, and increase blood flow to the area, providing relief and promoting overall freedom of movement.

Is it safe to practice cat and cow pose during pregnancy?

It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider. Modify the poses as necessary to ensure your safety and the well-being of your baby.

What are the benefits of practicing regularly?

Regular practice of the asana can bring numerous benefits. It helps to improve spinal flexibility, strengthen the core muscles, release tension in the back and neck. It promotes a sense of grounding and freedom in the body.

How long should I hold each pose?

Try to hold each pose in the sequence for about 5-10 breaths. This allows enough time to stretch and strengthen the spine. While also allowing for a mindful connection with your breath and body.

Can I practice cat cow pose if I have a neck injury?

If you have a neck injury, it’s best to avoid practicing the sequence. The movement of the neck in these poses can put strain on the injured area, so it’s important to prioritize your healing and safety.


The Marjaryasana-Bitilasana sequence in yoga, is a combination of two poses performed in a smooth, coordinated flow. This sequence is often a preparatory pose in a yoga practice. It’s designed to open the chest and increase flexibility in the spine.

Key Takeaways

  • The sequence involves inhaling deeply and lowering the belly towards the floor. While lifting the tailbone and head gently.
  • Cat pose involves exhaling and moving into a rounded position.
  • They should be done fluidly with synchronized breath and maintaining proper alignment of the spine.
  • Practicing can improve flexibility, provide stress relief, and increase postural awareness.

The asana is an easy pose, ideal for beginners, that is performed with hands and knees on the floor, directly under the hips and shoulders. The sequence involves arching and rounding the spine. Similar to a cat stretching, hence its name.

This spinal movement of the two poses stimulates and strengthens the abdominal organs. It also helps to develop postural awareness and balance throughout the body.

The posture also helps to open the chakras and stimulate prana. The vital energy in the body. By inhaling and exhaling in coordination with the movement. The asana relieves stress and calms the mind, activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Additionally, the pose increases strength and flexibility, and improves posture.

It can also be varied. For example, by practicing it while sitting on a chair or incorporating it into a vinyasa sequence. However, there are some contraindications to keep in mind, and it’s important to keep the shoulders away from the ears and the knees on the floor to avoid injury.

In summary, the sequence is an excellent way to prepare the body for the rest of your yoga practice. It’s bringing flexibility to the spine, softly stimulating the abdominal organs, and helping to develop postural awareness. It is a pose often practiced in yoga, both for its simplicity and its multiple benefits.

How To Do Cat and Cow Pose / Canva