Odds are, if you’ve taken a yoga class, you’ve probably done cat-cow (or chakravakasana in Sanskrit) before. But are you actually doing it properly to get the most out of this juicy spine stretch? Here’s how, as demonstrated by certified yoga instructor Phyllicia Bonanno.
How to do cat-cow, chakravakasana
Cat-cow is a great warm-up stretch to do before yoga, or any workout really. It involves flexing and extending the spine, which helps get all those spinal vertebrae nice and loosened up. This, in turn, can help improve posture, as you open up the chest and shoulders.
If you deal with back pain, especially from frequent sitting, this is a great pose to help relieve some of that tension, especially because it’s simple enough to do anytime.
And if you feel like you’re in need of a breather, pairing breath with the gentle movement of cat-cow can be very relaxing, making it great as a cool-down stretch as well as a warm-up.
The bottom line is, whether you incorporate cat-cow in your yoga practice or take a few rounds whenever your back starts feeling stiff, this simple pose is beginner-friendly, quick, and super effective, making it a staple in yoga studios everywhere.