Move of the Month: Cat-cow Pose for Back Pain

If you suffer from back pain, it’s important to seek advice from specialists such as our chiropractors at Spinal Care Clinics in Brentwood, but it’s also very important that you stay active and keep your spine mobile.

The cat-cow pose, also known as Marjaryasana-bitilasana in the yoga world, is a gentle warm-up designed to bring flexibility and release tension in the spine. This popular yoga pose is an ideal exercise for back pain as it stretches your lower and upper back, torso and neck.

Go through the cat-cow sequence early in the morning and prepare your body for the day ahead, or build it into your evening routine before sleeping to release tension and get ready for a relaxing night. If you can fit it in, try performing this stretch twice a day for added benefits!

Cat-cow pose for back pain

As the name suggests, in this pose you will first drop your back looking forward ready to moo like a cow while inhaling. Next, you will arch your back like a wary cat while exhaling.

Getting started

To begin, grab a mat and set yourself down on the floor in a hands and knees table-top position, maintaining a neutral spine. Your knees should rest directly below your hips and your hands below you shoulders. Look to the floor.

Keep your feet flat on the mat with your soles facing upwards.

Spread your fingers wide apart to help balance your body.

Go to cow pose

Look forward. As you inhale, dip your back, lift your chest and buttocks to the ceiling. Allow your belly to sink down towards the ground.

At the same time, lift your head and look straight forward.

As you exhale, slowly release the position and go to cat pose.

Go to cat pose

Exhale, round your spine, bringing your chest and pelvis down and inwards.

Allow your neck to release your head toward the floor. This should be a passive movement, don’t force your chin to your chest.

Inhale and come back up to cow position.

Repeat 10-20 times.

Try to reach a gentle flow between the positions as you breathe. If you’re finding it hard to follow the sequence in time with your breathing, or you’d like to take more time between the cow/cat pose, simply release the position, bring your spine back into neutral and take an added breath before beginning the next step.

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