- Alleviates low back pain through strengthening the low back and abdominal muscles
- Increases stability in the shoulders, wrists, hips, and knees
- Internally massages and increases blood flow to the kidneys, adrenals, and thyroid
- Ayurveda: Increases earth, water, air, and fire and reduces Vata, Pitta, and Kapha
- Chakras: activates the root (1) and sacral (2) chakras
- Prana Vayus: strengthens Prana, Apana, and Samana
- Langhana/Brahmana: balances heating and cooling
- Begin on your hands and knees, placing the hands directly beneath the shoulders and the knees directly beneath the hip sockets.
- Spread the fingers wide, and press the palms of the hands, the knees, and the feet into the earth.
- Feel the opposition of the spine lengthening down through the tailbone and up through the crown of the head.
- Draw the shoulder blades down the back while widening across the chest and upper back.
- Engage the bandhas by lifting the base of the pelvis up into the body, and drawing the abdomen back toward the spine.
- This is your neutral spine, or Table. As you inhale, feel the breath traveling down to your tailbone, and as you exhale feel the breath lifting up and out through the crown of the head.
- Cat pose (pictured below): as you exhale, deepen the lift of the belly toward the spine as you tuck the tailbone between the legs, allowing the entire spine to round one vertebrae at a time from the tailbone to the head. Bring the chin toward the chest and press the floor away as you complete your exhale.
- Cow pose (pictured below): As you inhale, allow the tailbone to reach skyward and the back to arch one vertebrae at a time, again initiating the movement from the tailbone. Widen the collarbones and open the chest and throat, gazing up as you complete your inhale.
- Continue flowing the spine between Cat and Cow as you breathe slowly and deeply. Feel that the breath initiates this flowing motion of the spine.
- Gradually come to stillness, again finding your neutral, lengthened spine.
- Place a folded towel or blanket under the heels of the hands to alleviate wrist pain.
- To increase stability, place a block between the thighs and squeeze the block with the inner thighs