Seated Cat Cow Pose

Common Title Seated Cat Cow Pose
English Title Seated Cat Cow Pose
Sanskrit Title Upavistha Bitilasana Marjaryasana
All Titles Seated Cat Cow Pose, Upavistha Bitilasana Marjaryasana,
Pose Level Beginner
Pose Position Sitting
Pose Type Stretch,
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Yoga Sequences

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The Cat and Cow Poses are considered simple yoga poses. The Sanskrit name of the Cat Pose, ‘Marjaryasana’, comes from ‘Marjay’ meaning ‘Cat’. The Sanskrit name of the Cow Pose, ‘Bitilasana’, comes from ‘Bitil’, meaning ‘Cow’. Both Cat and Cow Poses are done on fours, by placing the palms and the knees on the floor. But Upavistha Bitilasana Marjaryasana is done being seated, where in Sanskrit ‘Upavistha’, means ‘seated’.

The rules and the instructions for this pose are the same as that of Cat Cow Pose (Bitilasana to Marjaryasana). This pose is categorized as a restorative pose as it brings great relief to the entire back after the practice of intense yoga poses.

The strength of the abdominal muscles can be used during the practice of Malasana, so Seated Cat Cow Pose is a great preparatory pose for Malasana.

Since the Seated Cat Cow Pose is like a restorative pose, it can be practiced to ease the lower back and the spine after the practice of the intense poses mentioned below:

Seated Cat Cow Pose is considered a warm-up yoga pose to prepare the body for more intense yoga poses / yoga flow.

Chakras

Seated Cat Cow Pose helps open, activate, and balance the following chakra(s):
  • Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra)
  • Solar Plexus (Manipura Chakra)

Anatomy

Seated Cat Cow Pose benefits the following muscles and hence can be included in yoga sequences with the corresponding muscle(s) focus:
  • Lower Back
  • Core (Abs)
  • Chest
  • Hips
  • Neck

Seated Cat Cow Pose yoga sequences

Seated Cat Cow Pose is commonly found in the following types of yoga sequences:
  • Gentle yoga sequences
  • Restorative yoga sequences
  • Yoga sequences for teenagers
  • Yoga sequences for relieving lower back pain
  • Core yoga sequences
  • Heart opening yoga sequences
  • Hip opening yoga sequences
  • Yoga therapy sequences for neck

How to do Seated Cat Cow Pose

The below cues and yoga sequences added by yoga teachers show multiple ways to do Seated Cat Cow Pose depending on the focus of your yoga sequence and the ability of your students.

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  1. INHALE Chest forward. Widen the collar bones. bring heart forward
    EXHALE round the back and drop chin. Pull the belly in.
  2. Continue with Ujjayi breathing. 5 Breath cycle, inhaling whilst arching the spine and looking to the corner of the ceiling. Exhaling releasing the chin towards the chest rounding off the spine. Continue connecting breath to movement.
  3. As you inhale, lift your chest, roll your shoulders back and down, spread across the collarbones, gaze is up.
    Exhale, round the back, pull the navel in to the spine, chin to chest.
    Inhale chest up, Exhale round the back and gaze down.
    Inhale, feel the chest open as you create space through the h...
  4. Modification - sitting
    Inhale, press palms on the knees, lift chest, roll shoulders back and away from ears, push chest forward, look up.
    Exhale, press palms on the knees, round the back, pull the navel in to centre, look down. x 5

  5. As you inhale, lift your chest, roll your shoulders back and down, spread across the collarbones, gaze is up.
    Exhale, round the back, pull the navel in to the spine, chin to chest.
    Start to flow with one breath one movement. Inhale chest up, Exhale round the back and gaze down.
    Inhale, feel the ...
  6. As you inhale, press palms on the knees, lift your chest, roll your shoulders back and away from ears, push your chest forward, looking up, eyes can be open or closed.

    a physical reminder to always lead with love

    As you exhale, still pressing palms on the knees, round the back, pull the navel ...
  7. take 3 seated cat/cows here
    As you inhale, press palms on the knees, lift your chest, roll your shoulders back and away from ears, push your chest forward, looking up, eyes can be open or closed.

    a physical reminder to always lead with love

    As you exhale, still pressing palms on the knees, ro...
  8. Inspirez et ouvrir la cage thoracique vers l'avant, en avançant la poitrine. Regard vers le haut si c'est confortable.

    Expirer, laisser les épaules se courber et le dos s'arrondir.

    Relâchez complètement la tête.

    Alterner inspire/expire plusieurs fois pour amener la mobilité à la colonne ve...
  9. In: lift and expand chest. Ex: round out and back x 6-10.
  10. 1. Open your eyes. We are gonna do few rounds of seated cat/cow.
    2. In this variations, we are going to initiate the movement from pelvis.

    3. You are still on your sitting bones. You are going to rock off the sitting bones a little bit to a pelvic tuck.
    4. And rock onto the sitting bones to a...
  11. Now for seated cat cow.

    -Sit tall like with head held high
    - chin parallel to mat

    INHALE - arch spine, open chest, slightly gaze up to sky,
    EXHALE - round spine, draw belly button in and gaze toward belly button (navel)

    Following your own breath, do this five times. Feel
  12. Inhale chest forward, exhale chest back
  13. Root and connect your bottom to the floor
    Drink the air as you inhale
  14. Next to stretch out your back and to warm the spine,
    As you inhale, press palms on the knees, lift your chest, roll your shoulders back and away from ears, push your chest forward, looking up, eyes can be open or closed.

    As you exhale, till pressing palms on the knees, round the back, pull the...

Discover more cues, teaching ideas, and how to do steps at How to Do Seated Cat Cow Pose

Seated Cat Cow Pose Benefits

Seated Cat Cow Pose Benefits:
  • Stretches Muscles: This pose stretches the muscles at the hips, back and abdomen.
  • Stimulates Abdominal Organs: The movement of the abdominal area with breathing helps in stimulating abdominal organs including gastrointestinal tract.
  • Expands Chest and Lungs: Seated Cat Cow Pose aids breathing by stretching the chest and the lungs, making breathing smoother.
  • Relieves Lower Back Pain and Sciatica: Relieves lower back pain and sciatica.
  • Helps Alleviate Depression and Anxiety: Decreases depression and anxiety.
  • Eases Menstrual symptoms: This posture if done during the menstrual period or just before the onset of the menstrual cycle, brings ease to the lower abdominal area massaging the reproductive organs which further eases the symptoms of pain and cramps.
  • Aligns the Spine: The movement of the entire upper body acts as a great way to correct alignment of the spine and brings postural awareness and balance throughout the body.

Comparison with Cat Cow Pose

  • Wrists are Relaxed: As this pose is a variation of Cat Cow Pose (Marjaryasana Bitilasana) in the seated form, there is no pressure on the arms and the wrists and hence can be done for long periods. Seated position also makes it easy to hold the posture for long breaths.
  • Knees are at Ease
Continue reading more on Seated Cat Cow Pose Benefits

Seated Cat Cow Pose Contraindications

Seated Cat Cow Pose is a beginner level yoga pose that is performed in sitting position. Seated Cat Cow Pose additionally involves stretch, . Need Seated Cat Cow Pose contraindications? Please sign-up to request contraindications of Seated Cat Cow Pose and we will notify you as soon as your request has been completed.

Seated Cat Cow Pose Variations

Seated Cat Cow Pose Variations: Below are some common variations of the yoga pose Seated Cat Cow Pose with base pose as Seated Cat Cow Pose (Upavistha Marjaryasana Bitilasana).

Seated Cat Cow Pose Steps

 (Upavistha Bitilasana Marjaryasana) Seated Cat Cow Pose Steps:
  1. Sit on the floor, cross your legs in Sukhasana and stretch the spine raising the body upwards and take a few breaths here.
  2. Rest your hands over your knees. Sink back into a Seated Cow Pose, allowing your shoulder blades to pull apart and round. Drop your head. Focus on pulling in the tummy deep in and upwards. Lock the chin close to the chest and using the strength from the hands on the knees pull yourself deep inwards with shoulders and chest sunk in.
  3. Reverse the movement by leading with your head. Look up to the ceiling, arching the back and puffing out the chest. Hold it here, then reverse into Seated Cow Pose again. Stretch the spine out completely inwards and as the chest is forced forward, ensure the neck is taken deep upwards feeling any stiffness around the neck.
  4. This exercise is easier on the core when you are sitting because you are not using it to hold up your suspended body weight like in Cat Cow Pose (Bitilasana Marjaryasana).
  5. Whenever you are ready, round the entire back, pulling the navel into the spine to take the pose a bit deeper. This should be done very slowly and carefully as by sudden pushing of the navel inwards can cause cramps in the stomach or may bring discomfort.
  6. Staying here for more than 6 rounds will help you enjoy the benefits of this pose. Try to breathe in a rhythm.
  7. Slowly release the body and the legs, stretching them out in front of you and relax completely.

Seated Cat Cow Pose Modifications

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Seated Cat Cow Pose Preparatory Poses

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Seated Cat Cow Pose Relaxing Follow-up Poses

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Seated Cat Cow Pose Yoga Sequence Level Up Follow-up Poses

Seated Cat Cow Pose warms up the abdominal area including the lower back and spine. Seated Cat Cow Pose can be followed up with the following yoga poses:

  • Malasana (Garland Pose) Malasana (Garland Pose): Bring your feet together and stand in Tadasana. Raising your spine and pulling in the tummy, expand the spine and shoulders upwards taking a few breaths in this pose. Bring the palms in Namaste near your chest and expand the chest out and strong. Take a deep inhalation and as you exhale bend your knees and sit on your feet and soles. Maintain a gap between the knees but maintain the feet together. Once you are in this position with knees bent, the body will be leaning forward and hence lower back will be stretched backwards to initially give you balance. This is normal, but if one is not able to sit on the feet and soles, one could balance the body on toes for the first few times during the practice. Continue reading further instructions on Malasana.

Seated Cat Cow Pose Breath Awareness

 (Upavistha Bitilasana Marjaryasana)

This pose gets its benefits only if the breathing is kept in mind while practicing this pose. Co-ordination of the movement of the body, mainly the spine, along with the inhalation and exhalation alone will give the maximum benefit while practicing this pose.

  1. Inhale: Sit straight and relax the back and spine.
  2. Exhale: Bring the spine upwards and stretch.
  3. Inhale: Placing your hands on the knees, inhale and raise the head up and bring the chest out feeling the stretch at the neck and the chest.
  4. Exhale: As you exhale, sink the chest-in pulling in the tummy and move the lower spine backwards rounding the shoulder blades and tightening the core.
  5. Inhale: Inhale and raise the head up throwing the chest out and stretch the neck.
  6. Exhale: Bring the neck close to the chest and sink the chest, tummy and the navel inwards looking down.
  7. Repeat: Repeat this inhalation and exhalation watching the movement of the spine and the chest in a flow. This smooth flow of the breath and the upper body bring maximum prana to the entire spine and thus keeping the spinal nerves fit and healthy.

Seated Cat Cow Pose Yoga Sequences

Seated Cat Cow Pose Titles in English and Sanskrit

Many yoga poses have multiple titles because of differences in their Sanskrit to English title translation or a specific title becoming popular because of it's common usage amongst yoga teachers and yoga practitioners. Below are common titles of Seated Cat Cow Pose:

  • Seated Cat Cow Pose
  • Upavistha Bitilasana Marjaryasana

Seated Cat Cow Pose Sanskrit

We have Sanskrit audio pronunciation along with meanings and quizzes of 100+ yoga poses including Seated Cat Cow Pose Sanskrit. Please sign-up to listen to the Sanskrit pronunciation and more.

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