Good For Your Back: The Cat-Cow Combo

Two great yoga poses that work great together, the cat pose (marjaryasana) and the cow pose (bitilasana), done consecutively are very beneficial for both your back and your mind.

BENEFITS:

This is a great pre-workout back and spine warm up.

Even if you are not about to work out, together these poses strengthen the spine while improving flexion, posture and balance.

It is also a great stress reliever since the movements are done continually in coordination with your breath. The breath work/movement combo is very calming for your brain.

BEGIN:

While on all fours, make sure your knees are hip width apart and your hands are directly below your shoulders. Fingers spread and anchor into the ground. Toes lay on the ground and do not tuck under. Start in a neutral spine. Eyes gaze gently at the floor.

COW POSE:

Inhale and feel your belly drop toward the floor as you move into a flexed spine. Your gaze can be at the floor if you have neck issues or forward at the wall (or horizon if you are lucky enough to be doing this outside!) as your sit bones tilt towards the sky. Open your chest. Keep your shoulders broad and away from your ears.

Do not strain your neck or lower back. Keep your tilts gentle. If you have neck issues, keep your head in line with your spine to look at the floor instead of up.

CAT POSE:

With a big exhale, send your spine to the sky as your head drops to the floor and the tailbone scoops under. Let your belly button pull into your spine as you push the air out of your lungs. Send out all the stale air from the bottom of your lungs.

If you want to make it interesting, hiss like a scared cat on the exhale. It’s surprisingly therapeutic!

Don’t be afraid to use this as a quick work-day break. Shut the door, get on the ground and give your back some TLC from being hunched over a computer all day.

Hissing optional.

 

9 thoughts on “Good For Your Back: The Cat-Cow Combo

  1. I hear all kinds of pops and snaps with this when I start, but the smoothness of back movement is better after I finish.

  2. I took a personal training session and found a dozen weak areas on which to concentrate by using yoga techniques

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