Cat cows are a gentle movement used in the practice of yoga to bring movement to the spine.
Step 1: Align
Begin on all fours in a table top position aligning your wrists under your shoulders and your knees below your hip creases. Feel length through your side body and draw your navel toward your spine to engage your abdominal muscles. Gaze down at the floor just past your fingers to keep your neck neutral. Actively press into your fingertips into the floor to take pressure off your wrists. If your knees are sensitive, you can place a folded blanket under your knees.
Step 2: Breathe
Bring your awareness to your breath. Start your inhale down in your abdomen and fill up all the way to your chest. Let your exhale be slow and steady. See if you make your inhales and exhales equal in length. Pause here in your table top for a few breaths.
Step 3: Cow
With an inhale lift your chest and tailbone toward the sky. Let your belly sink toward the earth as you gaze upwards. Feel your shoulder blades hug onto your back and your shoulders draw down away from your ears. Feel space through the front of the body.
Step 4: Cat
As you exhale, start to draw your navel up towards your spine rounding your back fully as you press into your hands and tuck your chin to your chest. Feel the space between your shoulder blades broaden. Feel expansion along the back of the body.
Step 5: Put it all together
Alternate between these two movements for a total of 10 rounds - inhaling for Cow and exhaling for Cat. Move slowly. See if you can allow your breath to initiate the transition to each shape.
When finished, pause for a few breaths back in your neutral table top before standing up.
*Disclaimer: Always consult your health care provider to obtain clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. Practicing under the direct supervision and guidance of a qualified instructor may reduce the risk of injuries. Not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Practicing under the direct supervision and guidance of a qualified instructor, in addition to the direction of your healthcare provider, can also help determine what poses are suitable for your particular case. The information provided in this blog is strictly for reference only and is not in any manner a substitute for medical advice or direct guidance of a qualified yoga instructor. Oly Family Chiropractic Inc. assumes no responsibility or liability for any injuries or losses that may result from practicing yoga or any other exercise program.