Cat and Cow Pose for Heart Health
How This Helps
Cat and cow pose in tandem simply teaches practitioners what it feels like to work with the breath, to move with inhale and exhale. The dual pose combination puts breath work and slow movement to the forefront of the practitioner’s mind. In an active way, it slows the breath and brings your mind to a state of mindfulness and quiet that is needed for the heart. It’s a very good dynamic stretch to start one’s practice.
About Cat and Cow Pose:
Cat Pose: Marjaryasana; Marjari means cat
Cow Pose: Bitilasana
Cat and Cow poses are usually done together, especially at the beginning of a yoga class. Cat and cow poses in yoga helps with strengthening of the spine. In addition to strengthen, the poses also help stretch the spine before any major asanas or any big movements. If done seated, you get an opportunity to lengthen the chest and open the heart even more.
Here are the instructions for Cat and Cow pose:
Step 1: Get into a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Your hands will be shoulders-width apart. Your knees will be right underneath your hips, as wide as your hips. Pad your knees if you need to with a blanket or a soft pillow.
Step 2: On an inhale, do cow pose: drop your belly down to the floor, turn your gaze slightly upwards, lift your heart, roll your shoulders back.
Step 3: On an exhale, do cat pose: round your spine into a letter C that points up to the ceiling, push your hands down to help you round the spine, draw your belly in, look towards the backs of your legs in the direction of your feet.
Step 4: Do cat and cow for at least five rounds, working closely with your breath.
One of the more direct ways cat and cow helps the heart is by opening the chest and allowing your lungs to take in more oxygen.