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Asana Analysis

Published on September 23rd, 2013 | by Catherine Tingey

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CAT COW STRETCH

CAT COW STRETCH  CAT (Marjaryasana) / COW (Bitilasana)

CAT / COW is almost universally used in Vinyasa practices.

A simple 3 pose sequence incorporating the breath, CAT /COW brings awareness into the body, gently warms the body by stirring the navel chakra, and opens the spine. It is best sequenced in the beginning of class.

This sequence is beginner-friendly and suitable for most everyone, except if the kneecaps (patella) are tender. In that case, try a blanket folded several times underneath the knees.

ALIGNMENT

DSC01297Start in TABLE POSE (also called, Hands and Knees).

Place the palms on the mat shoulder-width apart, wrists underneath shoulders. Fingers should be slightly fanned.

Knees hip-width apart, knees underneath hips.

Feet hip-width apart.

Neck in line with the spine.

On an INHALE, drop the belly and slightly look up without compressing the vertebrae on the back of the neck.DSC01300

 

 

 

On an EXHALE, bring the navel to spine and ARCH the back, gently allowing the head and neck to release towards the ground.

DSC01298Take 5-10 cycles with eyes closed, feeling the spine undulate like a wave, moving with the breath.

DSC00908THINGS TO CONSIDER

CAT / COW is really all about FLOWING with the breath.

So:

Notice if you are overly arching the back and pinning the chin to the chest in CAT.

Visualize drawing the heart up to the sky in COW.

Draw the sit bones APART in COW by widening across the top of the buttocks.

 

 

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Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.

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About the Author

Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.



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