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).

Advertisements

About The Mala Yoga Blog

We are a Brooklyn-based studio that focuses on alignment, balance and community. Have a read, try one of our Practice Podcasts, or come in and say "hi" in person!
This entry was posted in YOGA GLOSSARY and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s