How To Perform Cat Pose

Chloe Freytag demonstrating Cat Pose in a black tank top and yoga pants

Cat pose is pose anyone can do to stretch the back and promote spinal flexibility. Anyone can learn how to do Cat Pose and it remains valuable for both the beginner and the advanced practitioner. Generally used in conjunction with Cow Pose, Cat Pose is a wonderful way to keep the spine mobile and teach the back to move with articulation – or one vertebrae at a time. Habitually, we tend to move in large, more structure movements with our spines. This creates an inflexibility in the back which can lead to injury. For instance, if your back is stiff and you suddenly twist or bend to catch yourself from falling on the ice or to grab someone who is falling near you, the back muscles can easily be pulled or the discs moves out of position. When Cat Pose and other spinal flexibility positions are practiced on a regular basis, the back has prepared for such quick twists or bends and is less likely to experience an injury.

According to the CDC, back pain strikes 80 percent of the people in our population at some time in their life. This makes it imperative that we teach our spines to be more flexible through poses such as Cat and Cow.  Think about it, your back health means everything when it comes to living your life fully! Keeping a healthy spine is crucial and part of that includes flexibility training. If you are looking for more ways to alleviate back pain try our blog 12 Poses To Help Alleviate Back Pain.


When performing Cat Pose be sure to draw the low abdominal muscles toward the spine as you curve into the cat posture. In addition, relax the head forward and let the cervical spine follow the natural curve of the rest of the back. Tuck your tailbone slightly and breathe.


Here are the steps to performing Cat Pose:

1) Begin on your hands and knees with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips.

2) Start with your spine in a “neutral” or long position, then slowly tuck your tailbone and lower the crown of your head so your back gently rounds.

3) Draw your naval up to your spine and breathe gently as you hold the stretch.

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