#ReNewYogaChallenge Day 11: Cat and Cow – Houston Chronicle

Welcome to day 11 of the #ReNewYogaChallenge. Today, we’re doing something a little different, and offering up two poses that typically play off each other: Cat and Cow. And if your back needs a little love today, you’re going to enjoy these two, which are also great for core strength and posture.

As always, we have a video warmup here to help you get into the flow. But if you feel like you’re already ready to roll then feel free to skip the video, and head to the step-by-step instructions below. Heads up, though: You’ll probably really want a mat today, since your knees will be on the floor and that can be really uncomfortable without some sort of padding.

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Set yourself up in the center of your mat, and come onto your hands and knees, so you’re in a tabletop position, with your hips and elbows square. For tabletop, your back should be perfectly flat. This will be your neutral position for these two poses.

From here, we’ll go into Cow. Push your belly button down toward the mat as you press your tailbone up. At the same time, push your chest and heart out, away from your belly button and tilt your head back slightly. You should feel as though your back is forming a “U,” and you’ll feel a deep stretch in your back. (Wrist pain? Go down to your forearms!)

Hold this for a few breaths, and when you’re ready, move into Cat. Imagine you’re trying to imitate the look of a scaredy-cat’s rounded back. Start by pulling your core back into your belly and rounding your back. Allow your head to hang a bit here.

Cat and Cow serve as perfect twins of each other. And you can alternate from one to the other slowly by holding each position for a few breaths and really feeling the stretch, or quickly to warm up your body. Either way, when you’re ready, snap a picture and share it on social with the hashtag #ReNewYogaChallenge for the chance to see it online and in print.

See you tomorrow!

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