We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. Please see our full disclosure for more information.
Cat and Cow Pose incorporates gentle flexion and extension of the spine, and this can improve back flexibility. A calming effect takes over as you connect your breath and movement and can help reduce anxiety. This pose can be practiced on its own or as a warm up to other poses, like backbends and forward folds.
~Begin in Tabletop position – on hands and knees. Check that your knees are directly under your hips and your wrists are under your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and flatten your back.
~As you inhale, raise your head, looking up, and drop your belly at the same time.
~As you exhale, slowly release your head, letting your head and neck relax. Round your back, pressing your belly button towards your spine.
~Flow slowly between cat pose and cow pose, feeling the movement of your spine. See what you notice about the quality and ease of your breath. Continue linking these movements to your breath for 1-3 minutes.
MODIFICATIONS: If you cannot put weight on your knees, try cat pose and cow pose sitting on the floor or in a chair.
~Begin with hands together at heart center (prayer position).
~As you inhale, open your arms out to the sides, bringing your shoulder blades closer together on your back as you look up.
~As you exhale, bring the hands back together and round forward, letting your head come back down.
~Notice the movement in your spine and the quality and ease of your breath, and practice this pose for 1-3 minutes.
NOTE: If you have a neck injury, keep your head neutral. If you have a lower back injury, practice exhaling to cat pose and inhaling to a neutral tabletop.