Cat pose improves spinal mobility, stretches the upper back and shoulders and can help to alleviate lower back, shoulder and neck pain. It is most commonly paired with Cow pose (shown in the video above). In Cat-Cow, we alternate between spinal extension and spinal flexion. In Cat pose, your spine is full flexed. An advanced version of a spinal flexion posture is Rabbit pose.
CAT POSE BENEFITS
- Improves spinal mobility.
- Stretches the upper back, lower back and shoulders.
- Relieves stress and tension.
- Can help to alleviate lower back, shoulder and neck pain.
Come to all fours. Bring your wrists directly underneath your shoulders and your hips right above your knees—toes point straight back. Look down at the mat in front of you.
Take a deep breath in. Exhale, round your back, drop your head, tuck your chin to your chest and draw your abs in.
Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths.
DYNAMIC VARIATION: Seated Cat-Cow
You can practice Seated Cat-Cow on the floor or on a chair—at work, while you’re travelling or in bed first thing in the morning.
- Sit cross-legged in the middle of your mat. Rest your hands on your knees and sit up tall. Inhale, lift your chest, arch your spine and look up. Exhale, round your back, drop your head and draw your abs in. Repeat 4-8 times—inhaling as you open up your chest, and exhaling as you round your back and draw your abs in.
- Avoid Cat pose if you have a back, knee or wrist injury.