"Cat/Cow" is a pose I teach in most of my classes and use as a warmup. I tell my students if they want to practice at home (Yes you should) but cannot remember any poses this is one to remember. It works from the hips to the head.
Begin in Table pose: on hands and knees with the knees under the hips, hip distance apart and hands under the shoulders or slightly in front with straight arms. On your next exhalation contract your abdominal muscles up toward your spine and the back toward the ceiling with the head dropping (forward-bending). On your inhalation let the belly open as it drops toward the floor and the head comes up (back-bending). Let your breath move your body with a long slow breath. This means the body moves slow too.
With this front to back movement, the spine is being massaged front to back as well as the internal organs.
The main part of the pose is making sure your tilting the hips front to back. The rest of the body follows the hips. I notices a lot of my senior students when starting Yoga have limited movement to no movement in the hips because they spend most of there day seated in chairs with minimal movement. If you're like these students you may need to have someone watch your hips to make sure they are moving. With my students permission I've physically moved their hips by grabbing and tilting their hips so they know what it feels like. Otherwise they have no idea how to tilt their hips. Watch the video and notice the anterior and posterior tilt of my hips.
Benefits: Improves posture. Stretches and strengthens the neck, spine, hips, back, abdomen. Helps relieve stress and calms the mind.
If you were to ask me which pose I should do if I only have time for one this is the one "Cat/Cow" pose.
Happy & Healthy,