A major area of concern with me is my back, especially when it comes to flexibility. I carry a lot of tension in my neck, shoulders, and back, and so I do a lot of back stretches during my yoga sessions to ease out some of that tension. Two of the poses I tend to do a lot are the cow and cat poses.
Okay, so the names kind of sound strange, right? Cow? Cat? These are aptly named because they look like positions that are typical to these two animals. You'll see as we go on.
The cow pose is really great for the shoulders, neck, and lower back. Here are a few points to note:
- Start on your palms and your knees. Your palms should be under your shoulders, and your knees should be right under your hips.
- Sink the lower back in, roll your shoulders back, and lift your head to look forward.
- Your chest should be pushed out so your shoulder blades are moving towards each other.
The cat pose is like the opposite of the cow pose. You know how in cartoons, the cat's back rounds up when it is in shock? That's what we're going for. It really focuses on your core and lower back.
- From the cow pose, keep your palms and knees on the mat.
- Roll your back the other way, so your back is curved out instead of curved in.
- Tighten your pelvis inward. This helps work your core as well.
- Roll your head down so your chin is towards your chest and you are looking towards your stomach.
Cheers Eights & Weights!