This movement creates fluid movement and warmth in the mid-body. When paired with the breath, it brings relaxation and invites concentration in the mind. As always, listen to your body and practice caution with any asana.
From Table Top, inhale to lift the chin, drop the belly and heart toward the Earth and allow the shoulder blades to slide down the back (Cow). Exhale to tuck the tailbone as you roll your shoulders toward the sky and pull the belly in toward the spine (Cat). You can also practice this movement by inhaling to Cow and exhaling to Cat. Be sure to switch it up every now and then; there’s always something new to learn or feel.
DIG A LITTLE DEEPER
In Cow, direct your attention to the shoulder blades, drawing them down the back. As your round your shoulders in Cat, use the stability in your hands to really push the ground away from you. Move and breathe slowly to feel the wave you’re creating with your body. Be mindful of the neck with both movements.
PROPS AND OTHER VARIATIONS
- Place a blanket under the knees if you feel any discomfort
- From a seat, place your hands on your knees. Keeping your bottom firm on your seat, utilize your breath pattern to draw the heart forward in Cow and round your upper back for Cat. Similar cues from the variation in Table can be used as a focus in this seated variation.
This is a must for just about anyone, but I especially invite those suffering from back pain, who are pregnant, or who work in an office setting to practice Cat-Cow daily. Listen to your body and if it’s calling you to do one piece longer than the other, go for it! I start most of my classes and my own personal practices with this movement as a warm up and to stimulate the mind-body connection. It can be used as a cool down and…honestly, just about anywhere. On the mat, off the mat, sitting in a car at a red light…the possibilities are endless. If your back could talk, it would thank you. TRUST me.
Now, go on and get your Cat-Cow on! Let me know how it goes.