Utthita Marjaryasana

Definition - What does Utthita Marjaryasana mean?

Utthita marjaryasana is a basic balancing pose from a kneeling position that strengthens the core muscles and lengthens the spine. The name comes from the Sanskrit, utthita, meaning “extended”; marjari, meaning “cat”; and asana, which translates as “pose” or “posture.”

This asana begins from a tabletop kneeling position with the arms under the shoulders and the knees directly under the hips. One leg is lifted off the ground and extended straight back, while the corresponding arm is extended forward.

Utthita marjaryasana is also known as extended cat pose in English.

Yogapedia explains Utthita Marjaryasana

In addition to improving balance and lengthening the spine, utthita marjaryasana improves focus, memory and concentration. It also relieves tension, stress and fatigue. By releasing the spine, utthita marjaryasana allows the anahata (heart center) chakra to open. Anahata is associated with love, compassion and forgiveness.

In a less intense variation of the posture, called cat balancing pose or balancing table pose in English (dandayamna bharmanasana in Sanskrit), the opposite arm and leg are extended. Both this version and the standard utthita marjaryasana serve as preparatory postures for standing balancing poses such as ardha chandrasana (half moon pose), virabhadrasana 3 (warrior 3 pose) and natarajasana (dancer pose).

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