Cat Pose: Step by Step Instructions

Cat pose (Marjaryasana) provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs.

Cat Pose

 David Martinez

Marjari = cat

Cat Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor. Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor.

Step 2

As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.

Step 3

Inhale, coming back to neutral “tabletop” position on your hands and knees.

Step 4

This pose is often paired with Cow Pose on the inhale for a gentle, flowing vinyasa. For Cow Pose, breathe in and push your navel gently to the floor arching your back, tucking your pelvis, and slowly raise your head to look at the ceiling. Exhale and go back to Cat Pose.


Pose Information

Sanskrit Name


Pose Level


Contraindications and Cautions

With a neck injury, keep the head in line with the torso.

Follow-up Poses

  • Cow Pose

Beginner’s Tip

If you have difficulty rounding the very top of the upper back, ask a friend to lay a hand just above and between the shoulder blades to help you activate this area.


  • Stretches the back torso and neck
  • Provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs