The aim in Kundalini Yoga practice is to raise the energy from the base of your spine to the top of your head. This is why warm-up exercises, such as the Cat-Cow Pose, focus on warming up the spine.
The Cat-Cow Pose activates the second chakra. An imbalanced second chakra is usually associated with emotional turmoil and depression. This pose helps move the energy flow and creates the ability to experience happiness.
Benefits of the Cat-Cow Pose
- Increases coordination and concentration
- Increases flexibility of the spine
- Stimulates organs
- Stretches hips, back, and core muscles
- Loosens and adjusts the spine
- Enhances emotional and mental balance
- Helps relieve lower back pain
- Opens up chest and lungs for better oxygen and energy flow
How to do the Cat-Cow Pose
The Cat-Cow Pose is relatively simple to master, but you should still practice under the direction of a yoga teacher (especially if it’s your first time!). If you suffer from wrist, knee, neck, or back issues, take caution when practicing this pose. Have a look at the modifications at the end of this section for alternative moves to the standard practice.
- Get on all fours on a yoga mat and get into a table-top position. Your knees should be hip-width apart.
- Check that your arms and legs should be perpendicular to the floor. Your shoulders should be above your wrists, and your hips above your knees.
- Make sure your fingers are facing forward, and your feet are resting on the floor with the shoelace-side facing down.
- Look straight ahead.
The Cat-Cow Pose
- Inhale and lift your chin up as you tilt your head backward. Don’t force your head back too much.
- Push your navel down and raise your tailbone so your back is curved towards the floor.
- Next, exhale and drop your head and relax your tailbone so that your back arches towards the ceiling. You do not have to force your chin to your chest.
- Make sure the movements transition smoothly into one another. Repeat for 1-3 minutes.
- If you want to get deeper into the pose and further your stretch, curve or arch your back more during the movements.
- Inhale and apply Root Lock to pull the energy up your spine.
- Exhale and sit back on your heels.
- Gently let your breath slow down and feel the energy flow. Concentrate on your third eye.
- If you suffer from wrist pain, you may want to drop down to your elbows and forearms to avoid pressure on your wrists.
- If you have neck pains, avoid tilting your head during the movements and just keep your gaze straight ahead.
- Use a yoga mat or additional cushion to relieve the pressure on your knees as you do this practice.
Beginner’s Tip: If you’re finding it hard to get into the pose, ask a teacher/fellow yogi to place their hand between your shoulder blades to help activate that region.