Welcome to Day 8 Marjariasana / Bitilasana - Cat / Cow Pose
"SVADISTHANA" Sacral Chakra - second Chakra
Cat Stretch held at its peak releases tension of the upper back and neck, focus on dropping your chin toward chest feeling a lengthening of the spine and neck connection, also massaging through the thyroid gland. Bring aware also through to the connect of hands, knees and feet into the earth as you push into proud cat, drawing upon the earths energy to seperate shoulder blades opening up through your scapula. The activation of the tailbone tucking in cat and lifting through cow emphasizes the root movement of the spine, which increases flexibility for forward and backbends.
Additionally, the spine consists of both primary (thoracic and sacral) and secondary (cervical and lumbar) curves. Inhaling in spinal flexion (Cow Tilt - chest and chin lifts high) increases the primary spinal curves and decreases the secondary spinal curves. Exhaling in spinal extension (Cat Stretch - drawing belly through to spine, chin to chest) increases the secondary curves and decreases the primary curves.
Cat/Cow Pose strengthens and improves flexibility of the spine through utilization of the reciprocal relationship between the primary and secondary curves.
The flow is attributed to connection with the inner source of inspiration and the ability to experience joy.
What are some of the benefits you’ve found from practicing Cat/Cow Pose? Share with us in the comments below!
What are Bandhas
Bandha means "to hold, tighten, lock or block". Bandhas are muscular contractions in different parts of the body which are used to control the flow of the energy at that point. Like compressing an artery to restrict the flow of blood, or like squeezing a balloon full of air to increase the pressure inside it, Bandhas create heat and a temporary tension, leading upon release to a deeper level of relaxation. The energy which is being manipulated by any Bandha can be physical or psychic in nature.
Yogis are always interested in ways of better harnessing their energy, both bodily and mental. Bandhas are powerful methods to conserve it, increase it and direct it to where it is most needed. Bandhas control the "gateways" to some of our most vital organs and, most particularly, they control the central spinal energy needed for successful meditation.
Today as we work through cat cow, we activate Uddiyana Bandha
Uddiyana Bandha can be one of the most transformative aspects of your yoga practice, especially as you get more advanced. It moves the energy upwards with much more force than Mula Bandha, thus allowing you to invert and jump more easily, as well as float forward and back more lightly, and twist more deeply. Because the abdominal wall is pressing the organs and tissues of the abdominal cavity backwards, Uddiyana Bandha creates a soft massage for the deeper internal muscles of the lower back.
In a more day-to-day sense, Uddiyana Bandha is the ultimate remedy for abdominal and stomach ailments, from constipation to indigestion. It stimulates your digestive juices, thus increasing your metabolism, and tones your overworked abdominal organs. It also balances the adrenal system, relieving stress, lethargy and tension. And best of all, it is the sure fire way to get flat washboard abs without ever doing any crunches.
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