Marjaryasana (Cat / Table Pose and Cat-Cow Flow) – Overview

Lesson Overview

  • Features: Marjaryasana (Cat / Table Pose and Cat-Cow Flow), and related poses such as Bitilasana (Cow Pose), Cat-Cow Flow and Balancing Table
  • Objective: Become knowledgeable about the pose and review detailed teaching considerations.
  • Description: Explain the Sanskrit naming; contraindications and cautions; associated benefits and typical effects; instructions and cues for setting up and practicing the pose; variations to meet particular intentions and needs; and more teaching considerations.


marjari” = cat

Cat Pose

Also known as: Table, Hands & Knees and All Fours


Cow Pose

Naming Conventions

  • Marjaryasana (Cat Pose) is also called Table, Hands & Knees, and All Fours.
  • Marjaryasana is also the name given by some sources to Cat-Cow Flow.
  • See Basic Form in menu above for a summary of Cat-Cow Flow poses and their various names.
Table, Table Top, Reverse Table Top
  • In addition to the name Table, the neutral Cat Pose position is sometimes called Table Top.
  • On the other hand, Table Top is occasionally – and confusingly – used to refer to a variation of Purvottanasana (Upward Plank) with knees bent.
  • More often (and more clearly), the Upward Plank variation is referred to as Reverse Table Top.

Messy, Messy Naming

Chakravakasana, Cakravakasana, Sunbird, Sunbird Flow, Ruddy Goose
  • First area to note: the potential confusion related to the spelling of “Cakravakasana” (Ruddy Goose) and “Chakravakasana” (Sunbird).
  • These usually refer to two different poses but some sources will mis-spell the name, causing even more confusion.
  • Chakravakasana is used by some sources to refer to Opposite Limb Extension, and by some to refer to a flow that begins standing on the knees.
  • Cakravakasana (Ruddy Goose flow) is a flow from Table Pose to Extended Child’s Pose.
  • Chakravakasana (Sunbird flow) is a flow from knees to Extended Child’s Pose, then to Balancing Table, Extended Child’s and back to knees.

Much More in this Digest

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See Also

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