If you are plagued with brain fog and/or fatigue, yoga may be just the therapy you need –even if all you have is a few minutes to spare. Performing cat/cow pose for even just a few minutes can help alleviate brain fog and fatigue.
The pose involves spinal flexion, thereby encouraging circulation of spinal fluid and breaking up spinal congestion (the accumulation of toxin filled fluid around the spinal cord and brain stem is a common cause of brain fog and fatigue).
Breaking up spinal congestion and promoting circulation helps wake up the central nervous system, contributing to greater cognitive clarity and less overall fatigue –both mentally and physically. Furthermore, cat/cow pose stimulates all 26 vertebrae, waking up and rejuvenating all of these powerful energy centers in the body.
The rhythmic movement of the spinal cord in cat/cow not only breaks up stagnant energy, but also decreases inflammation –a major cause of brain fog in and of itself, as well as a host of other symptoms like depression, anxiety, pain and more.
The more rapid and rhythmic the movement, the greater the energy flow (but remember, always work within a pain-free range).
Cat Cow Pose Modifications
If cat/cow is not plausible for you to perform for any reason, consider the following modifications:
— for knee pain, place a folded blanket, towel, or some sort of cushion under the knees for additional support
— for carpal tunnel or wrist pain or problems of any kind, use your fists for wrists
— In general, if being in tabletop position for cat-cow pose causes any pain or discomfort, you are able to sit upright without pain or discomfort, do seated cat – cow pose instead of regular.
Seated Cat Cow
Seated cat – cow pose is commonly used as a warm up in class, and is a great substitute for the tabletop variation of cat – cow. Seated cat – cow provides the same spinal awakening and detoxifying effects as regular cat – cow pose in tabletop position.
To do seated cat cow (tutorial in video below):
Sit upright in easy pose with one leg slightly out in front of the other without your feet touching, or another comfortable seated pose with your spine erect, shoulders even and relaxed down from the ears. Take your palms to your knees.
On an inhale, puff your chest forward and out, arching your back. Lift your head and look up, using your nose to guide your movement, as long as it feels okay for your neck to do so. If not, no worries. Simply skip the head movement, and continue to look straight in front of you.
Next, exhale deeply and fully, rounding the spine, tucking your navel inwards and up towards the spine, as you take your chin to your chest. Continue on like this, linking breath with movement, for as long as you would like.
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