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Cat-cow v/s downward and upward facing dog: An expert gives a lowdown on yoga poses you must try

Published on:12 September 2021, 16:00pm IST
Yoga poses such as cat-cow, upward facing dog, and downward-facing dog provide a wide variety of benefits to their practitioners. An expert compares the three.
Grand Master Akshar
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cat cow pose
These three beginner yoga poses will provide physical and mental health benefits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Yoga is advantageous for all age groups and provides a wide variety of health and wellness benefits. These three yoga poses have their own unique formation and benefits:

Cat-cow pose (Urdhva Mukhi Marjari Asana / Adho Mukhi Marjari Asana)

This is an ideal pose for warming up the body. It is a combination of two gentle stretches for your spine. It forms one of the fundamental postures in yoga asanas and is simple, yet highly effective. This asana is beneficial for the body and mind, as it also improves focus, dexterity, and mental strength. Practice the cat/cow poses for getting relief from back pain and stress.

To perform this pose, start by placing your hands and knees on the ground, imitating a cat. Inhale to look up, dropping your abdomen down toward the ground as you extend your spine. Exhale and arch your spine toward the ceiling and tuck your chin into your chest.

cat cow pose
Ready to warm up with the cat cow pose? Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar

Adho Mukha Svanasana or downward-facing dog

It is a beginner level posture, which resembles how a dog looks when it bends forward. Regular practise of this asana calms the mind, reduces stress and symptoms of depression. It also relieves headaches, insomnia, and fatigue. For those looking to lose weight, this pose is really helpful. This pose helps tone the muscles of the upper body, by reducing excess weight from the shoulders, chest and upper back area.

It also increases blood circulation to the brain and can help lengthen the spine. It strengthens the chest muscles by increasing lung capacity and managing lower back ailments like Sciatica. You will feel rejuvenated and energized after practising it.

Start by placing your stomach on the floor, press into your hands as you tuck your toes under your feet and lift your heels. Lift your knees and hips, to bring your body up toward the ceiling. Bend your knees slightly and lengthen your spine, press firmly into your hands and keep your heels slightly lifted.

Adho Mukha Svanasana
The downward-facing dog is beneficial for both your physical and mental well-being. Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or upward facing dog

This pose resembles a dog stretching upwards, and provides the body with a good stretch to the spine, expands the rib cage, and improves your lung capacity. It is a beginner level pose, and could be done regularly to improve overall health and fitness levels.

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
This is the perfect beginner pose! Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar

Lay face down with your feet hip-distance apart, place your palms on the mat, and press your hands and feet into the mat, as you move forward and up. Draw your shoulders back, opening up the chest, and gaze forward.

So, ladies, regular practice of these three yoga poses will help you stay fit and improve your health!

Grand Master Akshar Grand Master Akshar

Grand Master Akshar is an internationally acclaimed Spiritual yogic master. He is the founder, chairman and course director of Akshar Yoga and president of World Yoga Organisation. He is also the President of the International Siddha Foundation.