Cat and Extended Cat
CAT and EXTENDED CAT are fantastic ways of gently flexing and extending the spine whilst strengthening the wrists and shoulders.
In class we talk about how we tend to push into the thoracic spine (mid back) too easily – convincing ourselves that we’re getting even flexibility through the spine when we aren’t. This teacher shows how you can focus on making your C curve more gradual by resisting the urge to push the shoulder blades apart, allowing the lumbar spine (lower back) to open a bit more.
You can add variations to this movement:
Flat Back Cat – take your neutral spine towards your feet, flex your spine into Cat when your bottom’s near your heels and you cant’t keep neutral pelvis any more. Stay there as you return your spine back to neutral, then bring your neutral spine back to 4 point kneeling.
Pelvic clock – just as you do in Relaxation position, think also of the hoola hooping or roulette wheel cue. Then reverse.
Circling – flex into your Cat, take your flexed spine back towards your heels, return to neutral there, come back to 4 point kneeling and repeat- then reverse.
Wagging your tail – shorten one side of the waist by sending the opposite ‘sit bone’ behind you, alternating sides. You can intensify this movement by rotating the lifted foot of the shortened side out to the side, pivoting through your knee cap which remains in contact with the mat whilst looking over your shoulder to see it. Try not to disturb the neutral position of your shoulders and pelvis.
Rocking – take your pelvis and neutral spine back toward your lower legs off loading your wrists, then rock forward taking the weight back over the wrists loading them with caution, don’t allow the shoulders to move forward over the wrists.
Have fun Cats!!!