Cat and Cow Pose: By Christine Wushke
This pose is very effective for relieving back tension as well as nourishing the spine. This pose can be done as a meditation in motion. Keep your movements slow and gentle, as well as coordinated with the breath.
*Use caution if you have herniated disks, or arthritis in the spine.
1. As you are exhaling, slowly round your spine, dropping your chin toward your chest.
2. Push your spine toward the ceiling stretching the upper back muscles. Take your gaze toward your navel.
3. As you are inhaling, slowly and gently arch your spine. (Take care to not over arch the lower part of the spine.)
4. Move your shoulders up and back, stretching the front of the shoulders and opening the chest.
5. Take the gaze slightly upward toward the ceiling.
6. Exhale and repeat steps 1 and 2. Inhale and repeat steps 3 – 5. Continue for about 6 – 10 more rounds, or until you feel intuitively ready to rest.
7. Sit on your heels, and place your knees about shoulder width apart. Bring two or three blankets close to the body, in between the thighs. Keeping the sit bones down on your heels, (or close to the heels) bend forward from the waist, and bring the abdomen and chest onto the pile of blankets. The idea is to feel held up by the blankets so if it is a strain to reach the blankets, come up, grab another blanket, and then try again.
8. Rest here for as long as you are comfortable, breathing softly and smoothly. Allow the body to totally release and relax each time you exhale.
Benefits: Increases flexibility and mobility of the spinal muscles, and relieves back tension. Strengthens the abdominal muscles.
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Christine Wushke is a certified yoga and meditation teacher with over 15 years of experience. Her aim is to create a sacred space for students to effortlessly find the presence of stillness and an inner silence. Christine’s mission is to raise consciousness on the planet by empowering people to realize their own Divinity and to uncover a deep peace within. Christine is committed to assisting you in your journey, and helping you to realize directly for yourself the truth of what you are, and the stillness of truth within. In addition to her yoga and meditation training, Christine is also a registered massage therapist. In the past two years she has studied extensively in the spiritual tradition of Advaita Vedanta. Her teaching style is largely influenced by Iyengar yoga, and the nondual tradition of Advaita.
© written and modeled by Christine Wushke, Photo’s by Dianne Wushke.