Yoga is a holistic practice that consists of several yoga asanas that help in numerous ways. One of the best yoga asanas that relaxes your body is cat cow pose. It is an amalgamation of two poses: Cat pose (Marjaryasana) and Cow Pose (Bitilasana). When practised together, these poses help stretch your body and act like a warm-up exercise that helps you prepare for other activities. Known as Chakravakasana in Hindi, this yoga pose involves inhalation and exhalation of breath, making it one of the simplest and most effective yoga asanas. But that’s not the only reason why you should do this asana. There are many health benefits of cat-cow pose you must know.
What are the health benefits of cat-cow pose?
Marjariasana, also known as Cat-Cow Pose, is a fundamental yoga pose that involves a rhythmic flow between two positions to promote spinal flexibility and overall well-being. It is a simple yet effective yoga sequence that promotes flexibility and spinal health, explains yoga expert Himalayan Siddha Akshar.
1. Improves flexibility
Doing the cat-cow pose regularly will encourage flexibility and mobility along the whole length of the back by gently flexing and stretching the spine.
2. Better posture
If you’re looking for ways to improve your posture, this yoga asana is perfect for you. The continuous and alternating arching and curving of the back helps improve posture by strengthening the muscles that support your spine.
3. Relieves stress
Are you feeling stressed lately? Cat cow pose involves rhythmic breathing and gentle movements that can help alleviate stress and calm the mind.
4. Enhances coordination
This pose encourages the coordination of breath and movement, promoting a sense of mindfulness and body awareness.
5. Stimulates abdominal organs
The gentle compression and release of the abdominal region in the Cat-Cow Pose can stimulate and massage the organs, aiding digestion.
It is an excellent warm-up asana for the spine that you can do before engaging in more intense yoga poses or physical activities.
7. Alleviates back pain
Are you suffering from a severe back pain? Well, this pose can help. Regular practice of the cat-cow pose can help alleviate minor back pain by promoting flexibility and relieving tension in the spinal muscles.
8. Balances the nervous system
The controlled breathing and mindful movement in this pose help balance the
autonomic nervous system, promoting a sense of relaxation, says Akshar.
How to do the cat cow pose properly?
Now that you know the benefits of cat-cow pose, let us share a step-by-step look at how to do cat-cow pose properly, from an expert:
Step 1: Begin in a tabletop position with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
Step 2: Inhale as you arch your back and drop your belly towards the mat.
Step 3: Lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling, creating a gentle curve in your spine. Ensure that your shoulders are away from your ears, and your gaze is forward.
Step 4: Now, tuck your chin into your chest and curve your spine as you release your breath. Using your abdominal muscles, pull your navel inward towards your spine. Feel the stretch along your back and between your shoulder blades.
Step 5: Continue moving between the cow and cat pose in a flowing motion.
Step 6: Repeat the sequence for about 10-15 breath cycles, or as per your comfort.
Whether you want to relax or keep your spine healthy and flexible, try incorporating cat-cow pose into your yoga routine. It is vital to focus on smooth, controlled movements and synchronise your breath to avail the benefits of this yoga pose.