Yoga Glossary: Cat and Cow Pose

Yoga Glossary - Cat Pose

Yoga Glossary - Cow Pose

Benefits of the pose:

Warms up spine.

Introduces vinyasa: linking breath to movement, where breath initiates movement.

Allows gravity to root arm bones into shoulder joints and thigh bones into hip joints.

Begins to release tension in lower back, shoulders, and spinal muscles.

Simple set of movements that bring us into our physical bodies.

Getting into the pose:

Come on to all fours: wrists under armpits, knees under hips. Spread fingers, press evenly into knuckles of each finger

Straighten arms, but watch for locked or hyperextending elbows. Try to line up inner elbows so they face each other.

Start with spine in neutral alignment; navel drawing up and in gently, back and front of neck long, pelvis neither tucked, nor untucked.

Cat: exhale to lift spine to sky, dropping chin to chest, dropping tailbone, lifting navel to spine and finding a juicy c-curve in spine

Cow: inhale drop belly, lift chest, and gaze upward – keep arms strong and a feeling of spread across the chest. Keep tops of shoulders away from ears and length in back of neck so there is no crunching

Move back into cat pose on inhale, and then into cow pose on exhale.

Continue for at least 5 full cycles of breath.

Once you’re in the pose:

Notice as spine starts to warm up, if articulation of spinal vertebrae gets easier or deeper. Spend some time breathing more expansively into areas feeling pinched, contracted, or tight.

When done, bring feet closer together, move knees a little further apart and release sitz bones back to heels for child’s pose (balasana).


About The Mala Yoga Blog

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