Commentary by Sally Brown Bassett
Many yoga classes start off with an intention and possibly some breathing techniques to produce calmness as well as energy. An oxymoron at its best. A great way to start the physical aspect of your yoga practice is the Cat/Cow Pose. This pose helps warm up your spine and relieves back and neck tension after a long day. You can do this at home, too, anytime of the day. After all, we are as young as our back is flexible. This simple flow will make a difference.
Begin on your hands and knees in Table Pose. Your hands are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips. Your back is flat like a tabletop. Spread your fingers wide and have the crease in your wrist face the front of your mat. Let your neck be long and your eyes soft, looking at the floor. Take a deep inhale, look up, arch your back and let your belly sink toward the floor into Cow Pose; exhale completely as you round your back and tuck your tailbone into Cat Pose. Move with your breathe at your own pace. Inhale up, exhale down. Repeat at least ten times or until your spine is warmed up. If you have kids or grandchildren, just add “moo” and “meow” and you will be a hit.
The benefits of Cat/Cow Pose are numerous. It helps improves posture and balance. The movement helps strengthens and stretches the spine and neck as well as stretches the hips, stomach and back. Like most yoga postures, it massages and stimulates internal organs in the belly, like the kidneys and adrenal glands. And, as always, it relieves stress and calms the mind. Won’t you do a Cat/Cow today?
Until next time…