This is a good asana to loosen up the legs and prepare them for meditative asanas.

Most people have very stiff spines, so stiff in fact that it is difficult to believe the spinal column is composed of thirty-one separate bones which allow suppleness in the back and neck. This asana helps to loosen up the spine and return it to its correct condition. In the final position the abdomen is compressed, which gives a valuable massage to the internal organs, especially those concerned with digestion. This massage squeezes out stagnant, impure blood and encourages it to flow back to the heart and lungs for oxygenation.

The deep breathing is most important for it accentuates the massage imparted to the abdominal organs.


Watch a cat closely and you will see that it periodically stretches its spine upwards and downwards. This asana imitates this action, and though it is very simple it is very useful in ensuring the best possible health of the practitioner. A cat yawns at the same time; you can do the same if you wish, but it is not a traditional part of the asana.

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