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Learn the cat-cow pose

This is an excerpt from Pilates Illustrated by Portia Page.

Cat-Cow

 

Level

  • Beginner

Contraindications

  • Injuries to the lower back, knees, or wrists

Focus

  • Muscles of the spine and back

Benefits

  • Increases spinal flexibility
  • Stretches the lower, middle, and upper back
  • Opens the front side of the body

1 Kneel on all fours with the knees directly under the hips and the wrists under the shoulders. Inhale and lengthen the body from the top of the head to your tailbone, distributing the weight evenly to hands and knees, with fingers spread wide and pressing down.

 

2 Exhale and press into your hands. Round the spine, pulling the abdominals in deeper as if scooping inward. Tuck your pelvis under, and feel the pelvic floor engage and lift like an elevator toward the stomach and diaphragm. This is the cat position.

 

 3 Inhale and tilt the tailbone toward the ceiling as the ribs and chest lower toward the floor. Lift the head, sternum, and eyes toward the ceiling. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for 5 to 10 breaths. Push back into Child’s Pose, and rest the wrists and back for several breaths.

 

 

Read more about Pilates Illustrated.