In addition to easing spinal tension, this pose sequence calms the mind and relieves stress. It is also believed to:
- Strengthen the arms, wrists and shoulders
- Stimulate the abdominal organs, kidneys and adrenal glands
- Open the chest
- Tone and strengthen the core muscles
- Stretch the neck and spine
- Improve circulation
- Align the spine and prevent back pain
Although simple, cat-cow 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-cow pose can be practiced while seated upright in a chair.