Cow Yoga Pose
overview

Cow Yoga Pose is a back bend pose that targets the abs and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at all levels.

ajna – the third eye chakra
related poses
How To Do Cow Yoga Pose
  1. Begin by coming to your hands and knees on the floor or mat. Place your knees so they are hip-width apart, wrists directly under the shoulders. Your arms and thighs should both be perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Press your palms into the floor and spread out through your fingertips. Point your toes out behind you. Make sure your back is straight, your spine nice and long to create a flat surface. Let your head relax in a neutral position, eyes fixed on the floor; keep your neck long and your shoulders pulled back to keep tension away from the neck.
  3. Inhale and lift your sitting bones and chest up toward the ceiling, arching your spine inward. Do not change your foundation, keeping your hands, arms, shoulders and knees stationary. As you lower the center of your back and belly to the floor, lift your head slightly and gaze forward; do not compress your neck.
  4. Hold this position for a couple breaths, then exhale and come back to the neutral, flat position.
  5. Repeat this action two or more times if you feel comfortable, or alternate between this and the Cat Pose (Marjaryasana). To come out, come to your knees before standing.
Notes
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • If you have a neck injury, do not perform this pose without an instructor present. If the injury is not severe, perform this pose with care and keep your neck in line with your torso.
Tips

Be sure to keep space around your ears, drawing your shoulders down and pressing them into your back.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Abs, neck, spine

Target Muscles: Abs, spine

Health Benefits of Cow Yoga Pose
  • Relaxes the mind and help alleviate stress.
  • May relieve mild back pain, especially when used in conjunction with the Cat Pose.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Bitilasana

(bih-tih-LAHS-anna)

bhatila: dog / bidala: male cat / surabhitanaya: cow, bull
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

While Bitilasana is translated as the “Cow Pose,” there are several Sanskrit words for cow and “bitila” isn’t one of them. While it may be a shortening of “surabhitanaya,” which means cow or bull, “bitila” most resembles the Sanskrit words “bhatila,” meaning “dog,” or “bidala,” meaning “male cat.” Either of these other meaning make sense as translations as well when you consider this pose is incredibly similar to the Cat Pose, Marjaryasana, and that “marjari” means “female cat.” If this were the case, it’s possible the name was changed to “Cow Pose” to prevent confusion with the Cat Pose or the Downward Facing Dog.
We are constantly researching to find more information about the history and mythology behind each pose. If you have any further information, we’d love to hear from you.