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Back pain accounts 264 million workdays loss in a year and the most affected population include people who do sitting jobs. Medications and sometimes surgical treatments are needed to get rid of this medical condition but yoga asanas practice is helping millions of patients get relief from backache without any side-effects or complications.
Cat-cow pose or Marjariasana has been an effective remedial yoga pose for back issues, especially lower back pain. In this blog, Ekattva Yogshala is going to share how to perform cat-cow pose and explain its benefits in detail.
Cat-cow pose is a combination of back pain relieving asanas and involves various positions that are practiced one after the other. Below are explained different variations to practice the asana correctly:
Begin with the tabletop position placing your palms parallel to each other. Make sure your knees touch the mat. Keep your muscles relaxed. Inhale deeply while looking towards the ceiling. Your spine should bend in like an inverted bow. While exhaling, drop your chin towards the chest and bend your back like a bow, rising it upwards. Your knees and palms remain in the same stance.
Repeat this pose for three to five times. Remember to inhale while rising and exhale while lowering your chin.
In the next variation of cat cow pose, the lower back relieving asana, your legs get involved too. While remaining in the tabletop position swing back your right leg and bend it upwards as shown in the video above. As you raise your leg, also raise your head towards the ceiling and try to bring your head and toe as close as you can. Remember to inhale while rising.
In step two, bring down your leg and while exhaling, drop down your chin towards your chest. Try to touch your right knee with your nose while exhaling in the cat cow pose. Repeat this step for five times and then bring your leg to rest. Once you catch up your breath, repeat the above steps using your left leg.
Once you complete this variation, a little exertion may be felt but your back will gain a lot of strength.
This back pain relieving pose includes Balasana or the Child Pose in it. Sit on your knees and bend forward. Stretch out your arms like a child in front and bring your chin towards the mat. Touch your forehead with the mat. Remember to keep your arms straight while performing this pose. This stance of Marjariasana relaxes the lower back and help you catch up your breath.
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Look forward, now inhale and rise up. Tuck your toes and while adjusting your palms in front, proceed cat-cow pose with an altered version of downward dog pose. While returning from variation three, stand on your toes and rest your body weight on all four limbs. It looks like a fully stretched bow position.
Raise your heels up, lock your knees and stretch out your hips. Hold your breath, push your chest back while stretching your arms out. Now exhale while returning to balasana. This stance of cat-cow pose is not only good for back pain but also for the groin area. Repeat this pose once again.
Virbhadra Asana or the Warrior pose is the next variation of this back pain relieving yoga pose. While standing in the downward dog pose, join your knees and toes together. Now bring your right leg forward between your palms. Keep your left leg straight. Once you maintain the balance, inhale and rise your both arms up. Join them above your head in ‘Namaste’ position.
An important thing to note here is keeping your left leg and spine straight. Now exhale and return to downward down pose. Repeat the steps using your left leg to complete this lower back pain relieving asana.
Last but not the least, Uttanasana concludes the cat-cow pose. Return from downward dog pose and rest your body weight on your feet. While exhaling, bring your body down in front and touch the mat with your palms. Now inhale while rising, join your hands above your head. Hold it there for a couple of seconds, exhale and bring down your arms while standing. This completes the final variation of cat-cow pose which is beneficial in back pain.
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Above were the back and lower back pain relieving benefits that cat cow yoga pose brings with it. Remember, if you have complex medical conditions and injuries, always consult your doctor before performing yoga exercises.
Yoga has been around us for centuries but very few have reaped the benefits of this ancient wellness practice. In modern times, though, it is gaining popularity because of its health benefits and even as a career. Every year, hundreds of thousands of yoga enthusiasts visit yoga schools to become trained yoga teachers, and maximum numbers are observed in Rishikesh, yoga capital of the world!
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