I do this when I wake up. I do this before doing any yoga. I do this when I want to take a break from work/studying. I do this before any strength training. Why? Because it feels good and warms up the spine. It’s also a safe way to stretch the lower back without aggravating it like in a toe-touch (pike stretch). If you have a problem with computer guy posture (anterior pelvic tilt), this cat/cow motion is part of the remedies in this document to help you.
- When performing “cat” simply tuck your tail bone under and round the rest of your spine (including your head).
- When performing “cow” just do the opposite by looking up and sticking your butt out to arch your back.
- Inhale when the head goes up. Exhale as you round your back. Do it like 10-15 times. Simple!
Some ocean sounds to help add to the tranquility as you do this:
Wrists: If you have wrist pain and are unable to place weight on your wrists during the pose, you can drop down to your elbows and rest your forearms on the floor as you go through the motions.
Neck: If you have neck pain, keep your head in a neutral alignment with your spine during the poses and do not raise or lower your head.
Knees: You can roll up a yoga mat or towel and place it under your knees for support. This can alleviate pressure and pain in your knees while on the ground.
- Go into cat position and walk your hands to your knees for a nice stretch in the upper back.
- For an interesting way to wake up your core, perform cat/cow with your knees hovering off the floor by a few inches.
- If you’re having trouble with your back constantly rounding in downward dog, try this:
- Go into cow (the one where you stick your butt out) and while holding that arch in the lower back (lumbar flexion + anterior pelvic tilt), relax your head and lift your butt up to the sky. This can allow you to get into downward dog while holding that arched lower back in case you find it impossible normally to do that. This can give you a nice feel for how you want the position to be in downward dog, with the seat bones lifting up to the sky.