Using yoga to focus on your body's areas of tension for just a short time every day can help you feel better during daily activities. Cat-cow pose offers a simple but effective exercise in spinal mobility that's safe to practice at home.
- Start on all fours, with your hands right under your shoulders and your knees right under your hips. If necessary, use a blanket or pillow for extra padding under your knees and roll back the first few inches of the top of your mat to elevate your palms.
- Inhale to lengthen your spine.
- Without bending elbows or moving hips, roll your spine forward to arch your back.
- Once you've reached the fullest expression of your arch, roll your spine backward and pull the crown of your head toward your tailbone.
- Continue to roll your spine backward and forward. Remember that the spine starts at the base of your skull and extends all the way to your tailbone.
- To add Pilates breath work, inhale as you arch the back and exhale as your belly drops down.
- If you want, add more movement as you cycle through the pose to address any areas of tension.
- As you continue, close your eyes to focus on your body from the inside out.
- End with child's pose.
You can think of cat-cow pose in yoga as a kind of panacea for common back issues and concerns. By addressing pain and tension in the back, this yoga pose helps you work out all those annoying knots and kinks.