Find mind and body exploration through movement during the busy season with Cat and Cow pose, Marjariasana. Utilize these two postures in order to release low-back pain, create a more supple spine, and improve circulation and mind/body awareness. These poses are good for beginning yoga students.
To do the postures: come to the hands and knees on a padded surface: carpet, yoga mat, or blanket. Make sure that the palms are aligned under the shoulders and the knees are aligned under the hips. Ideally, the palms are shoulder-width distance apart and the knees, hip-width distance apart. Gaze down in-between the palms and open the fingers wide. Press equal weight down into the palms and finger pads. Feel the spine extended and the neck is long, creating opening and space along the spine.
Take a couple slow inhales and exhales to slow down the breath and create a space for yourself encouraging movement, healing and breath. On an inhale, drop the belly and lift the gaze, drawing the heart and chest forward into cow pose. Feel the tailbone tilt upwards, the sitting bones widen and the abdomen stretch. Press down through the palms.
Move with mindfulness in order to move intuitively, by building a flow with the breath, slow and steady. Notice what feels good in the body. After a few minutes of moving from cat to cow, pause a moment and begin to move in a circular motion with the hips. Find movement that feels good and be creative. We often move in linear directions, it can be beneficial to move allowing your intuition to guide you, becoming more aware of what your body is craving. Repeat in both directions in order to create balance.
Using the breath simultaneously with simple movements helps to create more awareness of the physical body and manifestations of stress in the body. When we slow down and focus on the breath, we unleash the ability to look inwards, towards the more subtle-energy body.
Exploring creatively through yoga movement can provide the opportunity to become more “in-tuned” to what the body and mind needs at a given moment. A beautiful aspect of yoga practice, is that each individual is unique and each day we experience an array of circumstances and emotions. Creating space for ourselves to process and create space in- between these different thoughts and emotions, will allow us to experience more peace and clarity throughout the day.
Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If
a posture gives you pain, gently come out.
Christi Iacono, In Rhythms Yoga, Clairemont, S.D.