A wonderful way to start off any yoga practice is with a round Cat Pose to Cow Pose. Often abbreviated as Cat-Cow, the combination of these two poses helps warm up your spine and relieves back and neck tension after a long day. It's an amazing addition to a solid home practice or a perfect way to loosen up before a studio class.
English Translation: Cat Pose to Cow Pose
- Begin with your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are under your hips, and your wrists are under your shoulders. Begin in a neutral spine position, with your back flat and your abs engaged. Take a big deep inhale.
- On the exhale, round your spine up towards the ceiling, and imagine you're pulling your belly button up towards your spine, really engaging your abs. Tuck your chin towards your chest, and let your neck release. This is your cat-like shape.
- On your inhale, arch your back, let your belly relax and go loose. Lift your head and tailbone up towards the sky — without putting any unnecessary pressure on your neck. This is the Cow portion of the pose.
- Continue flowing back and forth from Cat Pose to Cow Pose, and connect your breath to each movement — inhale for Cow Pose and exhale on Cat Pose.
- Repeat for at least 10 rounds, or until your spine is warmed up.