The Best Stretch Ever: Cat and Cow Yoga Pose

Article posted in: Fitness Video
cat pose

According to the Yoga Alliance, regular yoga practice is associated with better stress management, pain reduction, greater flexibility, muscle strengthening, improved circulation and even less weight gain in aging adults.

The cat and cow poses play an important role in this magic.

Appropriate for all skill levels, cat and cow are wonderful poses to warm yourself up to yoga or kick off any series in a vinyasa practice. Cat and cow are often combined, toward the beginning of a session to start regulating your breath, while providing gentle stretching of your chest and back. While these poses are quite simple, even master yogis appreciate and tout their body soothing benefits. Not only do they provide relief to a tight chest and back after a long day’s work, but they may also help stimulate your digestive organs and improve posture over time.

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Transitioning slowly between cat and cow, with a deep focus on breath, allows you to get the most of every movement. Once you have a stronger coordination between the two, you’ll develop a clearer understanding of how they work together to provide balance between the front and back of the body. Ultimately, the goal is to establish a better connection between your mind, body, spirit and breath.

Maybe you’ll fall in love with yoga’s healing abilities and explore further with other yoga poses.

cat pose

Targets:

  • Chest, back and neck

Benefits of Cat:

  • Stretches back of neck
  • Stretches back of torso
  • Helps cultivate enhanced movement and lengthening of spine
  • Supports better posture
  • May stimulate digestive organs

Benefits of Cow:

  • Stretches front of neck
  • Stretches front of torso
  • Helps cultivate enhanced movement and lengthening of spine
  • Supports better posture
  • May stimulate digestive organs

Tips:

  • Make an effort to inhale in as your body comes into cat and exhale on your way into cow. Breathing allows the body to reap the full benefits of your stretch, keeping muscles from tightening.
  • Keep eyes gazing forward as your head moves with the rest of your body.

Warnings:

  • Do not attempt to overextend body. This may cause injury to back or neck.
  • Perform pose on a soft surface and stop at any point if you experience knee or wrist pain.

 

*Benefits derived from the Yoga Journal