The meaning of the word YOGA is “to join together,” to “make union.” In the Kama Sutra (The art of making love) and Tantric tradition sexual union is considered the highest form of Yoga. In all transcendental sexual experiences a healthy and relaxed body is an ally for exctasy and liberation. Many of the Yoga poses were inspired by flowers, animals and other creatures whose name they bear. The following yoga poses are entitled Cat and Cow, promotes a sense of ease for the spine, so you can put your back in it.
The Cat-Cow pose combination is a tremendously popular and beneficial exercise used in yoga, Pilates, and other forms of physical exercise. This simple pose combination helps to stretch the back and relieve pain, strengthen the core muscles of the abdomen and the back, increase coordination, and energize the body.
Cat Cow pose benefits:
Stabilizes the sacrum to release lower back pain
Supports back by engaging abs
Stretches the low, mid and upper back, the front torso, the hips and the neck
Massages and stimulates kidneys and adrenal glands, and tones the uterus
Creates emotional balance
Relieves stress and calms the mind
People with neck injuries should be sure to keep the head in line with the torso.
Getting into the Cat and Cow poses: Step by step
Step One (preparation): Begin in “tabletop” position: your hands on the ground at shoulder width, elbows and shoulders in line with the hands and your knees on the ground hip distance apart and directly under the hips. Your spine should be neutral and the eyes will gaze towards the floor slightly in front of the fingertips.
Step Two (Cat Pose): On an exhalation, begin to round your spine towards the ceiling, engaging your stomach muscles to pull the belly towards the back body and tucking your head and chin towards the chest. The gaze should be toward the chest and belly, yet avoid forcing the chin to meet the chest. Feel the expansion across the shoulder blades. If rounding the very top of the back is difficult, ask a friend or yoga teacher to lay her hands just above and between the shoulder blades to help you activate this region.
Step Three (Cow Pose): On an inhalation, drop your belly toward the floor while lifting your sit bones and your chest towards the ceiling. Your gaze can either be directly in front of you or towards the ceiling. Keep the shoulder blades down and back away from the ears.
You can repeat this sequence a few times, making sure to follow the breath, inhaling into cow and exhaling into cat. You may wish to finish this sequence by resting in child’s pose.
Check out the following Yoga Flava Video Snack for the Cat & Cow demonstration: