Saturday, January 31, 2009

A New Outlook on a Basic

Cat / cow was a yoga pose I typically would rush through in the past. If I was practicing at home on my own, I would sometimes skip it all together. If I was a participant in a class, I would do the motion, but not really be in the pose. When I was leading class, I would demonstrate the movement and then watch the participants do the pose rather than continuing to do it myself. There was just something about the slowness of the movement that I had trouble connecting with. If I was in the mood for a tough practice, I would rush through it to get to something where I could feel the burn and build heat with. If I was doing a relaxing practice, I still wouldn't concentrate on cat / cow and would instead opt for deep leg stretches or hip openers. Sure, I would do lip service to the pose, as I knew it to be a great way to warm up the spine, but it just wasn't on my top 10 list.

Now, however, eight months into a pregnancy where my only real physical complaint is back pain, I can't get enough of cat / cow. I do it almost each morning and each night. Sometimes at work, I hang out in a bathroom stall to do a standing version of the pose. Where I used to abhor the pace of the posture, now, I adore the slowness of the movement. The release through the back is amazing as I slowly round and arch the spine. I concentrate on starting the movement in the tailbone and visualize each vertebrate separating and releasing, ending the movement with my head. I of course, knew this was the point all along, but now something has clicked and I actually feel the movement. Oh, and it really helps the back pain too.

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