The appeal of seated cat-cow - Live in Wonder


The appeal of seated cat-cow

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The other day I was teaching this seated cat-cow in a yoga class at the gym. There was a woman walking down the corridor past the studio. She stopped to watch and, after a while, she joined in.

I love that THIS is what was appealing to her.

Not some fancy yoga poses or playful flow sequences. THIS.

She stayed for about half of the class. I observed that she seemed fairly unfamiliar with yoga. I presume that she had done another workout at the gym and hadn’t known there would be a yoga class on. Or perhaps she didn’t know that she’d even want to try it.

Teaching yoga in a gym environment is very different to teaching in a yoga studio. I do both, plus onsite workplace yoga classes. In a group fitness setting with an open studio (not closed off), it’s not unusual to get “drop-ins”. People who chance upon the class, join in after their workout, or leave early because they have somewhere else to be.

It’s the nature of teaching yoga in the gym, and it still serves a purpose.

It may not be a conventional way to teach yoga, but I’m grateful for every individual that comes to my class – fully or partially. So long as participants try to minimise disruption, I’m glad to have served them in whatever way they needed/wanted.

We never know what individuals are dealing with in their lives, so any time they spend in a moment of respite can be greatly valuable.

This seated cat/cow sequence is from the warmup section of my yoga teaching. We’ve started on our backs and done some easeful hip mobility to *hopefully* assist those who find sukhasana/cross-legs challenging without props available. This sequence is a nice way to give attention to the breath, explore movement initiated by the breath, mobilise the spine and pelvis, and introduce the concept of collapsing vs propping.

FUN FACT: I actually thought I was making about a minute-long demonstration video, but when I watched it back, it was over 4 minutes 😳


Alissa Smith

Alissa is a yoga teacher, graphic designer, and creative writer based in Auckland, New Zealand.

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