In addition to releasing tension in the spine, which prepares the body for more challenging poses, cat pose also:
- Strengthens the arms, wrists and shoulders;
- Gently massages the abdominal organs, thereby improving digestion;
- Tones and strengthens the core muscles;
- Stretches the neck and spine;
- Improves circulation; and
- Reduces stress by calming the mind.
Although simple, cat pose requires precise body positioning for maximum benefit and safety. The knees should be directly under the hips and the hands should be directly under the shoulders.
Anyone who has neck problems or a head injury should keep the head and neck in line with the body. For those with knee or wrist injuries, cat pose can be practiced while seated upright in a chair.