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How to Do Cat-Cow Pose

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Inhale to lengthen your spine.
  3. Without bending elbows or moving hips, roll your spine forward to arch your back.
  4. Once you've reached the fullest expression of your arch, roll your spine backward and pull the crown of your head toward your tailbone.
  5. 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.
  6. To add Pilates breath work, inhale as you arch the back and exhale as your belly drops down.
  7. If you want, add more movement as you cycle through the pose to address any areas of tension.
  8. As you continue, close your eyes to focus on your body from the inside out.
  9. 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.


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