I have been practicing and teaching Hatha Yoga for over twenty years and find it a wonderful system to unite body, mind and spirit. Hatha yoga is the practise of relaxation, meditation, postures and breathing techniques.
There are so many benefits to your health when you practice yoga.
If you have any health issues please get advice from a medical professional before embarking on any form of exercise no matter how gentle it may seem!
The posture I’d like to take a look at in this article is the cat pose – Marjari Asana
Benefits of the Cat Pose
-This is a great posture for strengthening the whole of the back, promoting flexibility of the spine.
-The cat pose strengthens the wrists and shoulders
-The cat pose massages the internal organs, in particular the abdominal organs.
-The cat pose is known to calm the brain and central nervous system and so it is particularly useful if you feel stressed or upset.
-The cat pose can help tone the abdomen
-As with many poses it is known to help naturally lower blood pressure and therefore can be helpful for those with hypertension.
The cat pose is a great posture and easy to do, but before we get started please remember:
-If you have any neck or back problems please consult a doctor before practising this posture
-Ask your doctor before practising any yoga postures if you are pregnant.
-If in doubt- ALWAYS seek professional medical advice first.
So- how to do it
1.Begin by coming to your hands and knees. Make sure that your hands are directly underneath your shoulders, shoulder width apart and your knees directly underneath your hips, hip width apart. Have your head in a neutral position, looking at the floor, so that your spine from base to tip is in a straight line.
Inhale slowly and deeply, raise your chin, tilt your head back and look up, gently push your lower back down towards the mat and push your buttocks up towards the ceiling. Make sure when your push the lower back down that you are holding the abdominal muscles in their neutral position. (as in photo 1 above)
2.Exhale slowly and deeply, bring your chin towards your chest and arch your back as high as you can, lifting your abdominal muscles up towards your spine. Allow the buttocks to relax and naturally curl in slightly. ( as in photo 2 above)
3.Continue breathing and moving in this way, the more you practise the more fluid the movement will become.
The cat pose really is a great posture to try with so many benefits for your health and well being.
If you are interested in Hatha Yoga also take a look at the bridge pose article.