Marjari-asana (cat stretch pose):-
Sit in vajrasana.
Raise the buttocks and stand on the knees.
Lean forward and place the hands flat on the floor beneath the shoulders with the fingers facing forward.
The hands should be in line with the knees; the arms and thighs should be perpendicular to the floor.
The knees may be together or slightly separated.
This is the starting position.
Inhale while raising the head and depressing the spine so that the back becomes concave.
Expand the abdomen fully and fill the lungs with the maximum amount of air. Hold the breath for 3 seconds.
Exhale, while lowering the head and stretching the spine upward.
At the end of exhalation contract the abdomen and pull in the buttocks.
The head will now be between the arms, facing the thighs.
Hold the breath for 3 seconds, accentuating the arch of the spine and the abdominal contraction.
This is one round.
Try to perform the movement breathing as slowly as possible. Aim at taking at least 5 seconds for both
inhalation and exhalation. Ujjayi breathing may be used.
Perform 5 to 10 full rounds for general purposes.
Physical – on the breath synchronised with the movement and flexion of the spine from top to bottom.
Spiritual – on swadhisthana chakra.
This asana improves the flexibility of the neck, shoulders and spine. It gently tones the female reproductive system. It may be safely practised up to the sixth month of pregnancy; forceful contraction of the abdomen, however, should be avoided after 3 months. Women suffering from menstrual disorders and leucorrhea will obtain relief by doing marjari-asana and it may be practised during menstruation for relief of cramps.
Do not bend the arms at the elbows. Keep the arms and thighs vertical throughout.