Cat Pose, Bitilasana: Yoga Poses for Stretching
Bitilasana – The yoga Cat Pose may seem fairly easy. However, it develops concentration and awareness because you mentally visit the spaces between each of the vertebral joints to mobilise them. It also helps establish a steady breathing rhythm because you match the movements of the body to follow your breathing.
1. From and all-fours position, inhale as you lift your tailbone and head and make your back concave. Due to its structure, your lower back will dip down easily, but your upper back will become concave less easily. Rather then take the path of least resistance stay mentally present and move the downward curve to the thoracic area. While all the muscles along the spine will be working, feel the muscles in the middle and upper back in particular switch on as you move your breastbone forward. Don’t collapse into the shoulders and keep the elbows has straight as possible. As you turn your face up to the sky, keep the back of the neck soft – if you had an egg cradled there it wouldn’t be squashed.
2. On each exhalation round up your back. Let your shoulder blades spread wide apart as you release tight muscles of the upper back and neck. It is very easy to arch up the upper back, since that is its natural shape. During this part of the exercise, take care to press the vertebrae of your lower back up to the sky. Tuck your tailbone well under and press your chin in to the throat. Press your hands to the floor and feel where the skin of your back stretches as you deepen your curve.
3. Move with a steady flow so that each rounding up takes an entire exhalation and each arching downward takes and entire inhalation. Once you get the feel for it, time the arching of your back so that the movement starts as you begin to inhale or exhale and ends just has your breath tapers out.
Look out for my next Tip!