Yoga Pose of the Week – Focus on the Back

Our featured yoga pose of the week is actually two poses! Cat pose and cow pose are two poses often strung together with the breath. Together, they help to stretch out the muscles of the back as well as the chest and hips. They are very beginner friendly and can be done anywhere! They are also great poses to help you warm up for a workout or even at the start of each day!

Directions:

  • Start on a comfortable place on the ground (carpet, towel, mat, etc.)
  • First, bring yourself to a tabletop position – hips over knees and shoulders over wrists with a flat back
  • Spend a few moments in this shape to find a steady breath
  • Then, on your inhale, begin to arch your back, look up and let your belly fall. This is cow pose. 
  • Next, as you exhale, round your back, look towards your belly button. This is cat pose. 
  • Keep moving back and forth between the poses as you breathe deeply and slowly.
  • Lastly, come out of the poses the same way you got in.

Tips:

  • Once you’ve moved through a few rounds of your cat and cow poses, try to explore some additional movement
  • Try to shift your hips right and left, or make circles with your chest. You might find some spots that are tight that you didn’t even know were there. If you find a spot of tension that feels like it needs to be stretched, hold there and breathe before moving on.
  • Think of your movement like a wave. The wave begins at the base of your tailbone and moves upwards towards your neck. Each time you move, think about moving your body like a wave, slow and deliberate.
  • If you have any knee issues, try to place some extra cushion underneath them, or try this pose standing and bent over (using the wall for support) instead of from the ground.
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Vanessa Kiriakou

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