12/100 ~ Table Pose and Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana) –We’ll be using table pose as a starting point in poses later in the series, so take some time to feel the alignment of the pose before you begin moving into cat-cow. Use a blanket under your knees for added comfort and move slowly.

Benefits: Relieves back pain and increases flexibility in the spine. Slows down breathing and calms the mind. Lengthens and realigns the spine. Stretches the wrists and strengthens the arms

How to:  Table Pose (not pictured) – Come to your hands and knees and take a moment to set up great alignment for yourself. Align the wrists straight down from the shoulders, fingers spread wide with index fingers pointing to the top of the mat. Place the knees straight down from each hip, and look between your knees to make sure that your feet/toes are aligned directly behind your knees. Point your nose down toward your mat to create a neutral neck position. Feel yourself balanced here as you take a couple of slow, deep breaths.

Cow Pose – Allow your tailbone to arch up as your belly droops toward the floor. Press into your hands and draw the tops of the shoulders away from the ears, look forward. Have a sensation of the heart being drawn forward as you inhale. On your exhale, move into cat pose.

Cat Pose – Allow your tailbone to tuck and roll your entire spine to press upward. Press into your hands and lift the space between your shoulder blades up toward the ceiling. Squeeze your chin to chest and exhale completely. On your inhale, move back to cow pose.

Repeat cat-cow poses 5-10 times, inhaling as the belly drops/face looks forward, exhaling as the tailbone tucks/back rounds/chin tucks.

The Wrists: Ease wrist pain by pressing into the knuckles where the fingers meet the palms, rather than bearing weight on the heal of the palms.

Mantra: “I feel better when I move my spine.”