AnatomyBack, Hips, Lungs, Shoulders, Spine
Pose TypeBackbend, Heart Opener
Bitilasana (bee-tee-LAHS-anna) bitil = cow
- Opens the chest and heart space
- Increases flexibility of the spine
- Strengthens the backside of the body
- Massages the abdominal organs
- Improves digestion, lung capacity, and circulation
- Wrist injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
- Make sure your shoulders are aligned above your wrists and your hips are aligned above your knees.
- Come to a flat back by lengthening the spine. Place your head and neck in a neutral position, and gaze down toward the floor.
- Inhale and arch your back. Lift through your glutes and the crown of your head, and allow your belly to drop toward the floor.
- Roll the shoulders up and down the back, feeling the backbend in your thoracic spine. Open the chest.
- Hold Cow pose for one breath. Exhale and come back to a neutral, tabletop position. Or practice in conjunction with Marjaryasana (Cat pose), alternating inhales with Cow pose and exhales with Cat pose.
MODIFY OR REPLACE
- Chair Cow pose
- You can choose to tuck the feet under or rest the tops of your feet on the ground—whichever is more comfortable for you.
- If your knees are sensitive, place a blanket under your knees.
- Marjaryasana (Cat pose)
- Thread the Needle pose (Parsva Balasana)
- Push down through your hands to help arch the back.
- Draw the shoulder blades away from the ears to protect the neck.
- Lift your gaze toward the sky.
- As you inhale, extend the opposite arm and leg to make this a balancing pose.
- As you exhale, curl the extended elbow and knee into the chest. Come back to center and switch sides, moving with your breath.
WATCH OUT FOR
- Shoulders hunching
- Head and neck coming out of a neutral position