Cat/Cow

Benefits

  • Increases spinal mobility.
  • Loosens up the hips and shoulders. 
  • Stretches the abs, back, shoulders and neck.
  • Improves posture.
  • Trains breath awareness.

Therapeutic

  • Can help to alleviate lower back, neck and shoulder pain.
  • Relieves stress and tension.

Skill Level

  • Beginner

Category

  • Spinal Mobility

Yoga 15 Series

Instructions

  • Come to all fours. Bring your wrists directly underneath your shoulders and your hips right above your knees. 
  • Look down at the mat in front of you so that your head, neck and spine are in a neutral position. 
  • Inhale, lift your chest, arch your back, drop your belly and look up. 
  • Exhale, round your back, drop your head, tuck your chin to your chest and draw your abs in.
  • Repeat 4-8 times, inhaling into Cow, and exhaling into Cat.
  • Come back to centre.

Modification: Seated Cat Cow

You can do Cat Cow in a seated position–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 back and look up. Exhale, round your spine, 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.
  • Come back to centre.

Variation: Lateral Cat Cow

Lateral Cat Cow

In this variation of Cat Cow you alternate between looking over your left and right shoulders to increase lateral mobility of the spine.

  • From all fours, take a deep breath in, exhale, bend to the left. Inhale, come back to centre. Exhale, bend to the right. Inhale, come back to centre. Repeat this sequence 4-8 times. 

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you have a back, knee or wrist injury.