Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.

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Cat and Cow

Cat & Cow Pose

After I posted the piece on Eagle Pose for sore neck and upper back relief, I was asked to “write about more things like that.” So, here you go…

Try this sequence to bring flexibility to the shoulders, spine and neck, while softly stimulating the abdominal organs.

Cat & Cow

  1. Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Point your fingertips forward. Place your shins and knees hip-distance apart. Center your head in a neutral position and soften your gaze downward.
  2. Inhale as you drop your belly towards the earth. Lift your chin and chest, and gaze up toward the sky. This is Cow Pose.
  3. As you exhale, draw your belly to your spine and round your back toward the sky. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back. This is Cat Pose.
  4. Release the crown of your head toward the ground, but don’t force your chin to your chest.
  5. Inhale and come back into Cow Pose. Then exhale as you return to Cat Pose.
  6. Repeat 5-20 times.

For other basic shoulder stretches check out this site.


Happy shoulders

Eagle Pose

Sitting at a desk all-day, or hunched over some other contraption can wreak havoc on your shoulders. There are lots of things you can do to give your shoulders a break, swing your arms around and across your body, shrug your shoulders and my favorite, Eagle Pose. In Sanskrit, it’s called Garudasana (gah-rue-DAHS-anna). Garuda was the mythic “king of the birds.” The word is usually rendered into English as “eagle,” though according to one dictionary the name literally means “devourer.” Do this stretch a few times a day and it will devour your shoulder stiffness. Trust me!

Eagle Pose

  • Stand with your big toes touching, heels slightly apart.
  • Bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up and balancing on your right foot, cross your left thigh over the right. Point your left toes toward the floor, press the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf if you can, or you simply cross your legs. Balance on the right foot.
  • Extend your arms straight out in front of your body. Drop your left arm under your right. Bend your elbows, and then raise your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap your arms and press your palms together (or as close as you can get them). Then, lift your elbows and reach your fingertips toward the ceiling. If your palms don’t touch quite yet, press the backs of your hands together, instead.
  • Hold for up to one minute, focusing on your breath and keeping your gaze fixed and soft. To release, unwind gently and repeat on the other side.

Doing this stretch while standing also works on your balance, which is always a plus. If you can’t be bothered to get up from your desk, do the stretch seated. Sit up straight in your chair, both feet on the floor and do the arm portion only.

Try it; let me know what you think.


P.s. Don’t forget to breathe!