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Poses

Cow Pose / Bitilasana

Yoga pose: Cow Pose/Bitilasana
Step by step
  • Start on hands and knees (all fours) - in a tabletop position. Your knees directly below your hips and you wrists in line with your shoulders. Spread your fingers, middle finger pointing forward. Place your head in a neutral position, your gaze resting softly on the floor.
  • Inhale, lift your sitting bones up towards the ceiling. Open your chest and allow your belly to sink towards the floor. Lifting your head to look straight forward or look up (whatever is comfortable for you)
  • Exhale, come back into your neutral 'tabletop' position.
Beginners tip
  • It can help to do this pose in front of a mirror to check for correct alignment.
Benefits
  • Stretches the front of the torso and neck.
  • Helps relieve stress.
  • Massages the spine and internal organs.
  • Great as a warm up before class along with other spinal movements like Cat pose.
Watch out for
  • Protect your neck - drop the shoulders down away from ears. Try not to crunch the back of the neck as you look up.
  • Neck injury - keep your head and neck in a neutral position.
Variations

You can make Cat - Cow sequence into a core awakening exercise by extending out your opposite arm and leg in Cow pose and then drawing the elbow back and the knee to nose in Cat pose.

Alternatively use Cat and Cow pose as an exploration of the spine as in Lisa Petersen's class Spinal integrity - finding your curves (for EkhartYoga members).

Complementary poses
Try in class

Hatha yoga for beginners 1: warm up - for members only

Teacher: Esther Ekhart
Level: 1
Style: Hatha
Duration: 20 mins

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Here is a lovely free Cat - Cow flow that you can try to practice this pose. 

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