CAT - COW POSE

 

      
 
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Cat Cow Pose Animated
YOGA TERM


ENGLISH: Cat - Cow Pose
SANSKRIT: Marjariasana - Bitilasana

BENEFITS

  • STRETCHES THE BACK AND SPINE
  • STRENGTHENS THE SPINE
  • IMPROVES POSTURE

  • Flexing and extending the spine can help improve circulation in the discs in your back. It's a basic motion, but one that can be enormously beneficial in supporting the back and easing pain and maintaining a healthy spine, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting.

    Cat-Cow Stretch can help you improve your posture and balance. It is also believed to be a good stress-reliever and calming pose, since you link the movements with your breathing.

    INSTRUCTIONS


    STEP 1
    On all fours, your knees should be hip width distance and your hands should be directly below your shoulders. Your spine is neutral here.

    STEP 2
    Inhale as you drop your belly and lift your gaze and your tail bone towards the sky. (Cow Pose)

    STEP 3
    Exhale as you slowly tuck your chin towards your chest, lift your mid-back towards the sky and scoop your tailbone under. (Cat Pose)

    STEP 4
    Do at least four rounds of these then return to a neutral spine.

    DURATION / REPETITION


    Repeat the Cat-Cow Stretch on each inhale and exhale, matching the movement to your own breath.

    Continue for 5 to 10 breaths, moving the whole spine. After your final exhale, come back to a neutral spine.

    Repeat 3 to 4 times keeping the movement fluid and pain free. By the end of this exercise you should feel calm and relaxed.

    COMMON MISTAKES


    Don't Strain Your Neck.

    When you lift your gaze to the ceiling, do so with control and don't overextend your neck.

    When you go into Cat, let your head drop naturally rather than forcing it down.

    Also, be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and not drawn up toward your ears.

    Keep the Movement in the Spine Keep the arms straight so the movement is with the spine and not your arms and elbows.

    PRECAUTIONS


    People with severe back injuries should only perform the Cow Pose, bringing the spine back to neutral between poses — do not let the belly drop between repetitions, as this can strain the lower back.

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