Asana Alphabet – Cat & Cow Pose
Cat & Cow Pose is the best balm that you can offer to your tired back! Ok, maybe except for a good massage;-) It is a great warm-up (and the must before any backbends and inversions!). It keeps your practice safe. It can be also an excellent part of the flow, especially in gentle yoga, prenatal yoga, kids yoga, golden age yoga… I love doing it in the morning, just right after waking up, cause it opens up my stiff stagnant body, as well as in the evening after all day at work.
I love cat & cow, yet still I confuse my students which one is the cat, and which one the cow… Logically, when you round your spine it should be the cat, right? But in a flow I make this mistake too often. But let’s start from beginning. Some teachers start it from rounding the spine, I like the other way around much more, but the choice is yours!
1. You need to get on your hands and legs. We call it in Yoga “All Fours”. Now, make sure that your wrists are underneath your shoulders and your elbows are not hyper-extended.
2.Inhale and arch your back looking up towards the ceiling (whenever I teach I call the ceiling “the SKY”)
3. Exhale, round your back and look towards your knees.
4. Now inhale again, arch your back for the second time, lift your chin and look towards the sky sinking a little bit deeper.
5. Connect to your core, engage your belly properly pressing your shins to the mat at the same time. Do you feel the difference when you control this move from your belly?
This pose is great for digestion and strengthening your belly & back muscles. It is really good for everyone, at every age, every health conditions. One thing to consider is the comfort of your knees. If your knees feel too sensitive for the hard floor go ahead and grab some blanket. It will cushion your bones, and make it much more pleasant!
Whenever you teach kids you can play some game with them- they usually love doing cat and cows, especially with the sounds! It is amazing exercise for their spines that are in a process of development, therefore, this simple move brings a lot of benefits to young yogis:-)
Enjoy your Cata and Cows
meowwwww ! (means: Namaste!)