"Backbends and spinal movement are key to sustaining the health of our spines, especially these days where we spend a good portion of our day hunched over!" said yoga instructor Sara Quiriconi. Moving back and forth between these two complementary poses loosens all of your back muscles. The movement can be done as a warmup, as part of your yoga practice, or on its own if you only have time for one posture.
- 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 toward the ceiling, and imagine you're pulling your belly button up toward your spine, really engaging your abs. Tuck your chin toward 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 toward 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 10 rounds.