Marjaryasana/Bitilasana – Cat/Cow Pose
mahr-jahr-ee-AHS-uh-nuh / bee-tee-LAHS-uh-nuh
Marjari = cat
Bitil = cow
Asana = pose
Often paired together as part of a warm up sequence, the combination of Marjaryasana and Bitilasana helps to ease spinal tension, increase emotional balance and synchronises the breath with movement – preparing your body for your practice. The Marjaryasana/Bitilasana flow from Cow Tilt to Cat Stretch is a powerful lubrication for the mind and body. By opening your heart, you stimulate self-love and trust, and by rounding your back, you encourage the breath to become focused and deep. Bringing you balance and connection.
It is best to come into Marjaryasana/Bitilasana from Table Pose (Bharmanasana):
- Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. The spine is in neutral, parallel to the floor.
- Begin by moving into Cow Pose: as you inhale whilst expand the belly toward the floor. Lift the sternum and the tailbone tilting them toward the sky and take your gaze up toward the ceiling. Broaden across your shoulder blades and draw your shoulders away from your ears.
- Next, move into Cat Pose: As you exhale, draw your belly button toward the spine and round your back toward the ceiling. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back. Release the crown of your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.
- Slowly and deliberately continue the movement back and forth in tune with your breath. As your spine gets warmer, see if you can dwell a little longer at your edge. Ease your spine a little deeper into the stretch at each extreme—as always without forcing and pushing.
- Complete as many rounds as you would like, and then rest by resting your sit bones on your heels releasing forward into child’s pose.