What is diagonal breathing

Majariasana

Majariasana, The cat is an asana (yoga posture) from Hatha yoga that is very good for the health of the back. Majariasana is not one of the 12 basic postures of the Yoga Vidya series, but one of the 84 main asanas that are important for Yoga Vidya.

Majariasana can be practiced within the Yoga Vidya series or instead of Shalabhasana, the locust. After practicing Majariasana, you can move on to further back bends or come as a counterpoint to Garbhasana, the child's pose.

Effects of Majariasana

Starting position for Majariasana

Majariasana, the cat, is used for active back relaxation. At the same time, the shoulders, back and abdominal muscles are strengthened. The spine is also gently flexibilized. By strengthening and stretching the back muscles, cats help with a variety of back problems.

This physical exercise energizes the entire subtle spine (Sushumna) and opens the sacrum chakra (Svadhisthana). This promotes mental and physical well-being.

Majariasana improves the mobility of the spine, shoulders and neck. The female sexual organs are gently stimulated. Menstrual disorders and leucorrhea can be relieved by Majariasana. Majariasana is also particularly effective in relieving cramps during menstruation.

Physical effects of Majariasana

With Majariasana we all strengthen our back muscles. Majariasana also helps relieve tension in the back. Majariasana is said to be one of the best exercises for back pain.

Strengthened muscles of Majariasana

Stretched muscles from Majariasana

No muscles are stretched in the basic position.

Mental effects of Majariasana

Majariasana helps to develop grace and suppleness.

Energetic effects of Majariasana

Majariasana has a harmonizing effect.

Particularly addressed chakras in Majariasana

What is important for the correct execution of Majariasana?

  • Hands under shoulders, fingers pointing forward, hands and knees in one line, arms and thighs perpendicular
  • Kneel together or slightly apart so that they are stable under your hips
  • Keep your arms straight throughout the exercise. Keep your arms and thighs vertical throughout the exercise
  • During pregnancy Majariasana can also be performed but without contraction of the abdomen.

Instructions in Majariasana

  • Get into the four-legged position
  • Inhale, lift your head and arch your spine inward, open your abdomen, fill your lungs and hold your breath for about 3 seconds
  • Exhale, lower your head and arch your spine outwards, contract your stomach after exhaling and tense your buttocks
  • Your head is now pointing downwards, hanging between your arms, looking at your thighs. Hold your breath for about 3 seconds, strengthen the curvature of the spine and contract your abdominal muscles a little more.

That was a round. Practice 5-10 rounds for general health.

Breathing during Majariasana

Breathing should be as slow as possible. Practice the inhalation phase for at least 5 seconds and the exhalation phase for 5 seconds.

  • Inhale as you flex your spine inward
  • Exhale as you flex your spine outward

Focus point during Majariasana

  • Physical: Curvature of the spine from bottom to top, breathing adapted to the curvature, the whole body

Simple variation of Majariasana - diagonal cat

A simple variation on Majariasana is the diagonal cat. You stretch your right leg backwards and your left arm forwards, parallel to the floor. Then you switch sides. That was a round.

Variation for advanced students of Majariasana

An advanced variation of majariasana (the cat) is the tiger pose (vyaghrasana).

Instructions in Vyaghrasana:

  • Starting position: Majariasana: arch your back inwards and stretch your right leg backwards and upwards, lifting your head. The back arches inwards automatically.
  • Bend your right knee and let your toes point towards the head, look up and try to get your toes as close to the head as possible. Hold your breath
  • Bring your bent leg down and swing it under your hips. At the same time arch your back up, head bent down, right foot not touching the ground.
  • Press your knee against your chest and bring your nose as close to the knee as possible, spine is arched up, look to the knee, hold your breath.
  • Bring your foot back and straighten your leg. Bend your knee and continue the rocking motion.
  • Relax briefly in Majariasana and repeat the same thing with the other leg.

As a variation, you can grab your foot for half an arch during the one-sided back bend. If you are particularly flexible, you can put your foot over your head.

That was a round. Practice 5 rounds per leg.

Effects of Vyaghrasana:

Vyaghrasana, the tiger posture, loosens and trains the back by moving in both directions. The asana also stimulates the spinal nerves, relaxes the sciatic nerve, relieves sciatica, loosens the hip joints and legs. The female sexual organs are stimulated. Vyaghrasana is particularly helpful after childbirth or for women who have given birth multiple times. Vyaghrasana stretches the abdominal muscles, which leads to good digestion and stimulates blood circulation. Obesity, especially in the hips and thighs, is reduced.

Which asanas can be followed after Majariasana?

Majariasana can be practiced within the Yoga Vidya series or instead of Shalabhasana, the locust. After practicing Majariasana, you can move on to further back bends or come as a counterpoint to Garbhasana, the child's pose.

The Sanskrit word Majariasana

Majariasana, Sanskrit मार्जार्यासन mārjāryāsana n., Actually Marjaryasana, means the posture of the cat. Marjara means hangover, Marjari means cat. Asana means posture, stance, pose.

Cat or Majariasana - Practical instructions (excerpt for beginners' lesson)

Exercise video in which Sukadev instructs in the practice of the cat or Majariasana

Here Sukadev guides you to the cat or Majariasana and shows you how you can optimally perform this yoga exercise. This is an excerpt from the first course video of the 10-week beginners course http://mein.yoga-vidya.de/yoga-anfaengerkurs-video.

Text accompanying the exercise video - cat or majariasana - practical instructions

Now come to the cat, Majariasana, in the quadruped position.

Put your hands under your shoulders. First lift your head and chest up as you would with a cobra and then lift your pelvis and get into the quadruped position. And now keep your hands shoulder width apart under your shoulders, keep your knees hip width apart under your pelvis. Also the feet slightly apart. On the exhale, lift your lumbar spine a little higher and bring your chin towards your chest; on the inhale, lower your chest and tilt your head back. When you exhale, keep your lumbar spine a little up and chin down, while you inhale, lower your chest a little and your shoulder blades backwards. On the exhale, raise the lumbar spine and chin towards the chest; on the inhale, lower the chest and lower the shoulder blades. You can bend your elbows slightly. Repeat the movement a few more times. It is important that you do not go into maximum movement. It's more about loosening and relaxing and less about maximum stretching.

Then slide from here to the child's position.

Cat - diagonal and dynamic - Practical instructions (excerpt from a yoga beginners' lesson)

Exercise video for the yoga exercise cat: The yoga exercise cat from a yoga class: Sukadev guides you to the cat and shows you how you can perform this position in a dynamic way.

This is an excerpt from the first course video of the 10-week beginners course http://mein.yoga-vidya.de/yoga-anfaengerkurs-video. More about the yoga exercise cat under the keyword cat Sanskrit.

Text accompanying the exercise video - cat - diagonal and dynamic - practical instructions

Now come to the diagonal cat and today to the dynamic, diagonal cat - it strengthens the abdominal and back muscles. To do this, put your hands under your shoulders, slide first to the cobra, then to the quadruped position, lift your pelvis, check the position of your knees - hip-width below the hips and your hands - shoulder-width below the shoulders.

Now extend your right arm forward and your left leg backward, and now, while exhaling, bring your arm back and your knee towards your chest and lower your head towards your chest. On inhalation: right arm forward, leg back, head up. On exhaling: arm back, knee forward, head, to knee. On inhalation: arm forward, leg backward, head up. Exhale: arm back, head to knee, abs training. Inhalation: back muscle training, shoulder training. Again, even if it is exhausting: Breathe out and, ... breathe in ... and lower your knees and hand. Breathe two or three times.

An excellent exercise for strengthening the back and abdomen, and it also strengthens the diagonal back and abdominal muscles. Now stretch the other arm forward, i.e. the left arm forward and the right leg backward. And now exhale: knees to the head and arms to the back. Inhale: arm forward, arm backward. Exhale: head to knee, arm back. Inhale: arm forward, leg forward. Exhale: Abs workout. Inhalation: back muscle training. Exhale: Abs workout. Inhalation: back muscle training. Again: Exhale: Abs workout. Inhale, work your back muscles, and exhale: knees and hands on the floor.

If you like, you can still loosen up a little: lumbar spine a little high on the exhale. Inhale downwards, or you can turn the pelvis a little to the right and to the left, listen to your body for what it needs now. Then come to the child's position, sit down on your heels or on a pillow on your heels, knees either together or knees a little apart, elbows down and out or your hands under your forehead, breathe deeply in and out. Feel the vortex diverge. You can also imagine that the back muscles go right and left apart like pudding, and the shoulders go down and out, wonderfully relaxing. Feel secure too, it is the position of the embryo in the womb.

Yoga cats for the lumbar spine - variation of Majariasana

Prevent back pain, do something good for your intervertebral discs. These variations of Majariasana, yoga cat, are particularly good for relaxation and strengthening the lumbar region. Sukadev guides you to * gentle dynamic cat movements * strengthening exercises for the spine and stomach * stretching exercises. These exercises have a preventive, partly also healing effect on disc problems, osteoarthritis in the lumbar spine, unspecific back pain, back pain etc. In the case of acute complaints, ask a doctor, alternative practitioner, physiotherapist or yoga therapist which of these exercises are suitable for you. More information about yoga therapy.

Videos about majariasana and variations

Variation of Majariasana, the diagonal cat - a yoga asana for a strong and healthy back

Majariasana, the yoga cat for the lumbar spine

Majariasana, a hands-on yoga exercise

See also

Yoga literature

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