Benefits: This pose stretches the back muscles and helps the spine to lengthen and remain flexible. It gently tones the abdominal muscles and is beneficial for our digestion.
Cautions: Cat pose may not be appropriate for people with severe wrist, arm or shoulder problems in which case you can try the Standing Cat Sequence. If you have knee problems try padding under your knees.
- Come onto all fours into a table top position with the hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips. (fig 1)
- Lift your tail bone up to the ceiling and lengthen through the front of your body as you lift your chest up towards the ceiling also. (fig 2) Keep your shoulders away from your ears and lengthen your neck, both front and back. Inhale deeply.
- As you exhale draw your abdomen strongly back towards your spine and lift your back up to the ceiling as you drop your tail bone and head. (fig 3)
- Continue moving your spine in each direction in time with your breath.
- After five or more breaths come back to table top position and take a breath in.
- As you exhale swing your hips to the right and look around to the right as you squeeze your right shoulder and hip towards each other. (fig 4)
- Inhale to the centre and exhale to the left. Continue with this movement for at least five breaths on each side feeling the stretch on the opposite sides of your waist.