• 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
1

Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.

2

Make sure your shoulders are aligned above your wrists and your hips are aligned above your knees.

3

Come to a flat back by lengthening the spine. Place your head and neck in a neutral position, and gaze down toward the floor.

4

Inhale and arch your back. Lift through your glutes and the crown of your head, and allow your belly to drop toward the floor.

5

Roll the shoulders up and down the back, feeling the backbend in your thoracic spine. Open the chest.

6

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.

Alternatives:
  • Chair Cow pose
  • Modifications:
    • 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.
    Before:
    After:
    • 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.
    • Shoulders hunching
    • Head and neck coming out of a neutral position