HOW TO: Cat/Cow Pose (Marjariasana/Bitilasana)

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Cat/Cow poses are a great way to warm up the body for an active yoga flow.  They help to loosen stiffness in the muscles around the spine and stretch the back muscles to prevent potential injury in more challenging yoga poses.  I will be the first to admit that these poses are not ones that I overly enjoy practicing, but I really do notice a difference in the ease that I’m able to move into other poses when I’ve practiced these first.

Instructions:
Begin on your hands and knees in tabletop position

Ensure your shoulders are directly above your wrists and your hips are over your knees.

Inhale and reach your tailbone up towards the ceiling, letting your spine arch and your belly drop towards the floor.

Keep your shoulders engaged and away from your ears. This is Cow Pose.

As you exhale, tilt your pelvis under and round your spune.

Draw your navel in towards your spine, keep your shoulders engaged and press into the mat with your hands, shins and the tops of your feet. This is Cat Pose.

Benefits:
Improved posture and balance

Helps relieve back pain and sciatica symptoms

Strengthens and stretches the spine and neck

Stretches the hips, abdomen, and upper and lower back

Stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands

Improves digestion

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