The human body was not designed to sit upright at a desk all day typing on a computer. Yet, that’s exactly what I do, 8+ hours per day, 5+ days per week, and I’ll bet that many of you do too. Lately, I’ve been paying dearly for this behavior. I’ve been laser focused, hard at work on a project and suddenly it hits me, aching pain in the middle of my back that stops me in my tracks. After days of popping Advil, self massaging, soaking in hot baths and putting pain relief patches on my back, finally, someone showed me the light.
As it turns out, a simple little move that I’ve done a million times at the beginning of my yoga classes was exactly what I needed to curb this specific type of back pain and discomfort. If you’re a yogi, you know all about Cat Cow, it’s a pretty standard pose. If you have no clue what it is, not to worry, let me walk you through it.
1. Get down on the floor on your hands and knees in a “table top” position.
2. As you inhale, round your spine upward (picture how a cat stretches it’s back up).
3. As you exhale, arch your back (as in how a cow’s back curves downward), lift your chest toward the ceiling and let your belly sink toward the floor.
4. Return to a neutral table top position.
5. Repeat 5-10 times.
It’s that simple, a few rounds of Cat Cow will stretch your back right on out and ease the damage that’s caused by sitting in your desk chair all day long. And if you’re co-workers are staring at you like you’ve lost your marbles, who cares? Would you rather look cool or have a pain free back?