This is the latest article in our yoga central series and today we will be looking at a pose known as cat cow pose and is the combination of two poses. We will look at how to properly carry out the pose, the benefits you can get from it and anything that you need to consider before beginning. Please read the entire article before trying the pose.
How to Carry Out the Pose
We have put together instructions on how to carry out the pose correctly however there are also a number of modifications that can be done to make the pose easier as well as deeper. These modifications will be found lower in the article.
1. Begin the pose by coming to your hands and knees. It is important that you make sure your knees are directly underneath your hips and are hip width apart. Your hands should also be directly under your shoulders and your wrists firm. Make sure your head is in a neutral position and that you are looking at the floor.
2. As you exhale round your spine towards the ceiling making sure that your hands and knees remain in their starting position. You should also lower your head towards the floor but not press your chin against your chest.
3. Now release the pose and go back through the starting position and arch your back. As in the previous step you should keep your hands and knees in their starting positions. The head should be lifted towards the ceiling but it important to keep your neck soft and not compress it and lift it too far.
4. You should then release this pose and go back to step 2. Continue through steps 2 and 3 for 4 or 5 times in order to get the maximum benefit.
5. On completion of the pose push back into child pose with your bottom on your feet and rest your head on the floor or on your hands whichever is most comfortable.
Tips and Precautions
This is a relatively easy pose to perform but there are a number of things you may want to do if you are new to it and lack flexibility. For example you may find it difficult to round your back for the cat part of the pose. If this is the case then you should get someone to place their hand above and between the shoulder blades in order to activate that area. For the cow part of the pose you can protect your neck by broadening the shoulder blades and drawing your shoulders down away from your ears.
If you suffer from a neck injury then it is a good idea to keep your neck in a neutral position for both sections of this pose combination. This will enable you to keep your neck safe but still get the desired benefits.
Benefits and Focus
Although this is the combination of both the cat pose and cow pose the benefits are the same for both of them which is part of the reason why they go so well together. Practising this pose on a regular basis will help to stretch out the back torso and the neck. It will also provide a gentle massage to both the spine and the abdominal organs. The main anatomical focus of this pose combination is on the uterus and therapeutically it will be very helpful for people suffering from stress. In addition, although it is not its main focus it may also be helpful for people who suffer from anxiety and depression as well as other similar conditions.