CAT/COW YOGA POSE (WITH MODIFICATIONS)

CAT/COW YOGA POSE (WITH MODIFICATIONS)


– Catcow is a wonderful
yoga posture that is great for our entire spine, but
also our pelvic floor. Whenever we flex our spine
or round, our tailbone tucks which shortens our pelvic floor muscles. When we extend and lengthen,
our tailbone extends, which stretches pelvic floor muscles. So when you’re doing catcow
in the different ways that I have offered for
you, think about that motion of the pelvic floor,
but also try to connect your breath and movement. So as you extend, try to inhale, which gets the pelvic floor to move down towards our feet. And as you flex, exhale,
which has the pelvic floor move up towards our head. So the reason why I love
this sequence of motions is because not only are
we moving the pelvic floor kind of in an outwards and inwards motion, we’re also moving it in an up down motion. This range of motion that we experience at the pelvic floor
really has lovely benefits all the way up to our head. So as we’re doing that motion, we’re also coordinating our entire spine from our cervical all
the way down through our thoracic, lumbar, and then
into that tailbone and pelvis. So, find your breath, relax
through the motion, and enjoy. Okay, now we’re going
to go ahead and explore some options for catcow. So this position, you’re going to get on
your hands and knees, and the special considerations here is I want your shoulder, elbow,
and wrist to really line up. And then when we look towards the back, we want our hip and knee to line up. If you at all have any knee issues, putting a towel roll, a blanket, or even some foam underneath
your knees will help soften and make that better. I often times will fold my yoga mat over to allow for some more
support through my knees. Here for my wrist, this is
a pretty aggressive angle of wrist extension. If this at all does no
feel comfortable there, you can simply make your hand a fist and put your first down. Now my wrist is nice and straight, and this is another solution. Some people might get a
special block or wedge that allows their hand to be positioned slightly down and their wrist elevated. My wrists are okay so
I’m going to go ahead and place my hands like this. In this catcow position, what
you’re gonna go ahead and do is you’re gonna drop your
belly, extending through your low back, looking up and forward. Then you’re gonna go ahead
and draw your belly in, taking your gaze towards your pubic bone or belly region. When we drop, I wanna make
sure, during this opening, that I’m not craning or
stretching with my neck. I just take it to a position
where I feel comfortable and don’t go any further than that. Then when I’m curing through here, I’m really focusing on pushing the ground or table away from me as I
suck or pull my belly button in towards my spine and
round out my pelvis. Now to add an extra layer on here, I will have people
inhale as they’re opening through the front of the body and exhale as they round or decrease that space in our belly. Inhaling nice and slow, and then exhaling throughout the entire movement. I’ll show you again, let’s inhale. And then exhale. As we’re going in this motion, try to keep those elbows pretty straight. Sometimes people want to
do more of this motion. Also try to keep those hips pretty evenly spaced over the knees. Some people will rock backwards
when they’re doing this. They might rock forward. They might drop their chest. But it’s really that nice even extension and flexion from head all the way to tail that we’re looking for. We’re gonna go ahead and
explore how to do catcow in the seated position. This is great for when you’re at work, you’ve been sitting at
your desk for lots of hours working hard, and you
need to kind of break up some of that tension through your body. So, again, I like people to kind of scoot to the front part of their chair, still allowing their
thighs to be supported by the surface. Then what you’re gonna go ahead and do is you’re gonna arch
opening the front part of your belly, then you
round, kind of collapsing through that front part of our belly. As I arch, I like to think
that I’m sitting tall and I gently look up with my head. Not all the way up to
the ceiling like this. That can often times
hurt or strain our neck. But we just gently arch
sitting nice and tall as if a string is pulling us on. Then we round, really
dropping this pelvis back as we round from the tip of our head all the way down to our tail. So ultimately, when I’m
having someone do a catcow, especially in sitting, I want you to focus on what’s happening at that pelvis. So our pelvis is right here. Okay, you can put your
hands right on that. These nice high waisted yoga pants kind of show you where my pelvis is. So here when you’re practicing this see if when you are arch
and look up to the ceiling you feel your pelvis tilt forward. Like I’m pouring water
out through the front of my pelvis. Then when I go ahead to move backwards I feel the front part
of that pelvis come up and I’m now pouring the
water out the back side of my pelvis. Often times people do
more of just their chest, like this, so you can
see when I’m doing this my pelvis isn’t moving at all. And the purpose of this
exercise or movement is to really get that lengthening and extension throughout our full spine. We can inhale here, and then exhale, getting that reverse
curve and flexion forward. So go ahead and try that
out and see how you feel and what your body experiences.