Cat/Cow Pose

A very simple pose which is accessible for just about everyone because you can do it either standing, sitting or kneeling. This pose mobilises the spine in a back and forward movement. As we round our back into the cat position we stretch the back and squeeze the front of the body, and as we arch in the opposite direction into cow pose we squeeze the back while lengthening the front of the body. This gives a great massage to the muscles on either side of the spine, has a pumping massaging effect on the stomach to aid digestion, and keeps the spine nicely flexible, all while encouraging full exhales and exhilarating inhalations.

Let’s try it:

Come onto all fours with the wrists under the shoulders and knees under the hips.

Have a little engagement in the core as you breathe in and lift your sternum forward and up.

As you breathe out round your back up to the ceiling.

Continue for 5 – 10 breaths.


  • If your wrists are sore you can take some pressure off them by bringing the hands a little further forward.
  • If your knees are tender while kneeling you can kneel on a folded blanket.


  • Seated version:

Sit up straight toward the front of your chair with your feet flat on the floor and directly under your knees and your hands resting on your thighs.

Inhale and lift your sternum into a gentle back arch.

Exhale and push into your hands as you round your back.

Continue for 5 – 10 breaths.

  • Standing version:

Stand in Mountain Pose and clasp your hands behind your back. Inhale and lift your sternum into a gentle back arch as you straighten your arms if you can (you can hold a belt between your hands if they don’t meet).

Exhale and bring your arms forward, clasp your hands and invert them as you round your back.

Continue for 5 – 10 breaths.

This version can also be done while sitting on the floor.


By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training