The best thing about yoga is, everyone can practice it. Whether you are overweight, old, young, or have the fittest body, it can calm the mind and strengthen the body. That is one of the reasons why you should try yoga for beginners. The poses in yoga are called Asanas, and people of all experience levels can practice these. Doing these poses helps to slow down and calm the mind, unwind and connect the mind and body with the breath. These Asanas can improve balance, flexibility, and strength. While there are many difficult poses, even the most basic ones provide immense benefits. One such yoga pose for beginners is the cat and camel exercise. Read through this article to know all about the Cat-Cow Pose or the cat camel exercise.
What is The Cat and Camel Exercise?
This exercise is also called the cat and cow exercise. The Sanskrit name for this yoga pose is Marjaysana-Bitilasana. Here ‘Marjary’ means cat, ‘Bitila’ means cow, and Asana means pose. The cow and camel stretch is a combination of the two poses and is considered a warm-up pose for the more challenging Asanas. It is practiced to stretch the abdomen and spine by moving the back slowly and rhythmically. Tension around the shoulders and spine is released in the cat and camel/cow poses, strengthening the core.
The cat and cow yoga pose is a pose that can be part of your home workouts and, many variations are derived from this. The cow and cat pose yoga boosts energy and thus is part of yoga flow sequences. The cat and camel stretch is a pose that is performed as a preparation for more challenging yoga flows or poses.
What Are the Benefits of Cat and Camel Exercise?
The cat and cow pose is a good warm-up before any yoga or workout. In this pose, the spine is extended and flexed, which helps to loosen up the spine. Here are some of the cow cat pose benefits.
1. Opens up the spine
The Cat and Cow exercise is a pose that is a beginner level and it helps to open up the spine. The Prana flow becomes easy when the spine is opened up, as there are no blockages. That, in turn, helps to maintain the spine healthy.
2. Strengthens the neck, arms, and shoulders
Regularly practicing the Cat and Cow yoga pose strengthens the shoulder, arm, and chest muscles. The deep stretch, which is part of the Cat and Camel exercise, improves neck flexibility. Do the Cat-Cow for back pain and see the difference.
3. Improves digestion
Cow and Cat pose yoga involves repeated abdomen movement. The navel gets pulled in close to the spine, giving a good massage to the internal organs. That helps in keeping the gut healthy.
4. Good for Women during menstruation
A Cat and Camel stretch massages the internal organs, including the reproductive and digestive systems. That helps in reducing PMS in women.
5. Good for pregnant women
Cat and Camel exercise during pregnancy helps calm the mind, due to the deep breathing involved. Cat and Camel exercise in pregnancy aids proper growth of the fetus.
6. Treats insomnia
The cat-camel stretch is a restorative pose and can treat sleep disorders like insomnia. Cat and Camel exercise in pregnancy can also ease the body and help a soon-to-be mom sleep well.
7. Improves posture
The Cat and Cow stretch improves the alignment in the body. Due to this, the body posture improves, especially in the spine and the shoulders. Cat and Camel exercise during pregnancy can also improve the posture of pregnant women and reduce issues of back pain.
How To Do the Cat-Camel Stretch?
The Cat-Cow Pose is a gentle stretch exercise that stabilizes the spine, abdomen, and back extensors. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do the Cat Camel exercise:
- Start by going on all fours with your hands and your knees. Ensure that the wrists are aligned, with the shoulders and knees in line with the hips. Keep the core engaged, back flat, and spine neutral. It is the start position. Now take a deep breath.
- Exhale and pull the spine up towards the sky. Or pull the belly button to the spine while keeping the core engaged. Release the tension in the neck and pull your chin to the chest. The pose should look like a cat stretching.
- Inhale, relax the belly and arch the back. Bring the tailbone towards the ceiling while lifting your head. Do not apply pressure on the neck. It is the cow pose of the Cat and Cow stretch.
- Continue the back and forth from cat to cow and connect the breath with each movement. Inhale while in the cow pose and exhale while on the cat pose.
- Repeat this cat and cow pose for a minimum of 10 rounds or until the abs, hips, spine, and neck are fully warmed up to get all cow cat pose benefits.
How Seated Cat-Cow Yoga Pose Done?
It is a variation of the Cat & Cow pose, and people who cannot get on all four limbs due to injury can also do it. Even though there is not enough freedom of movement due to sitting in the seated Cat-Cow yoga poses, you can still get lubrication for the spinal column.
- To do this Cat-Cow for back pain, start by sitting on a chair and placing the feet flat firmly on the floor. Ensure that the hips and knees are at the same level. Put your hands on the knees and arms straight.
- Inhale and move the pelvis forward so that there is a backbend. Now bring the chest such that upper arms roll out.
- Lift the head and focus on the ceiling without throwing the head back and, it is the cow pose.
- To do the seated cat pose, exhale and move the pelvis, curve the spine, roll the shoulders and drop the chin to the chest. Repeat several times.
Cat and camel exercise benefits are numerous, but the most important is that it improves flexibility and movement. Try a few rounds of cat & cow pose early morning or after long periods of sitting. You will walk taller with a better posture throughout the day!
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