Cat Pose  -Majaryasana

Step by step

  • Start on your hands and knees (all fours). Knees directly under hips and wrists, elbows and shoulders in line with each other. Neck in line with your spine, gaze resting softly on the floor.
  • Spread your fingers and press through the base of the fingers and the finger tips.
  • Exhale and round your spine towards the ceiling, lifting the side waists.
  • Pull in your abdominals and tuck your tailbone, gently contracting your glutes. Try to keep your shoulders and knees in position.
  • Release your head towards the floor and press firmly into your hands.
  • Inhale and come back into your neutral starting position.

Beginners tip

  • If you find it difficult to know whether your back is rounding correctly, have a friend place their hands on your upper back to help activate that area.

Benefits

  • Gently massages the spine, increasing mobility.
  • A great warm up before yoga practice.
  • Increases circulation of spinal fluid.
  • Strengthens the muscles of the hands and wrists.

Watch out for...

  • If you have a neck injury, keep your head in the neutral position.
  • Pose should be avoided if you have recent wrist or knee injuries. Instead you can practice a seated or lying down version of Cat - Cow.

Variations

  • Adapt this pose for when you are sitting - even in an airplane. Place your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on a table, chair or wall in front of you. Perform the same movements with your spine.
  • Practice Cat Cow movements while lying down.
  • From a table top position play with moving the tailbone first, then the upper back, to create a wave motion along the spine.