Yoga poses: cat pose and cow pose - FANS SPORTS

Yoga poses: cat pose and cow pose

Cat and bull

In the yoga system we value, there are not many postures for complete spinal flexion and extension. In forward and backward bends, the two are often mixed (in the cobra pose, for example, the spine is extended backward while the pelvis moves in the opposite direction). The cat pose and the Bull pose are the easiest ways to experience the properties of the pelvis in three dimensions.


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Common tips and possible problems related to the pelvis are as follows.

■ Most yoga teachers will appropriately suggest a forward-backward tilt of the pelvis (tailbone back or tailbone down), but the image of this forward-backward tilt is a two-dimensional (planar) concept, meaning that the pelvis always rotates forward and backward as a unit.

Possible images, hints and approaches are as follows.

■ The focus of cat and Bull poses is to coordinate the pelvis and spine. When you practice catpose, the ischium should come together and move toward the tailbone, while the bottom of the sacrum moves toward the pubis, shortening the pelvic floor muscles. When we practice the bull pose, these movements are reversed and end up lengthening the pelvic floor muscles (Figure 1). Note that when the pelvic floor muscles contract, the spine is forced to pull and flex; When the pelvic floor lengthens, the spine stretches accordingly. Tension in the pelvic floor muscles can block the movement of the spine, which is another reason why the concept of pelvic floor movement is mentioned repeatedly in all postures.

■ Pay attention to the interaction of the back and pelvic floor muscles. In the cat pose, the pelvic floor muscles shorten while the back muscles lengthen. In the bull pose, the pelvic floor muscles lengthen and the back muscles shorten.