Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing yoga for life.

Cow Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions


Cow Pose is a simple warm-up stretch to relieve tension in a hunched back.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits

Bitilasana

(Pronounced as "bee-tee-LAHS-anna")

Named after the standard posture of a cow grazing in the fields, this pose normally comes right before Cat Pose.

How to do Cow Pose

Step One:

Assume the standard "tabletop" position with your back forming the top of the table. Place your hands on the yoga mat right below your shoulders, spreading your fingers apart. Your knees should be perpendicular to the floor, resting right below your hips. Let the tops of your feet rest against the mat. Look down at the floor.

Step Two:

Breathe in. Pull your breath up to fill your entire chest, letting your back arch fully. Release your stomach completely so that your belly button sinks down as low as possible. Both your tailbone and your chest should lift up toward the ceiling simultaneously. Lift your head and look up.

Step Three:

Breathe out and return to your neutral tabletop posture. You can repeat this pose 10 times or more as you like.

Step Four:

For best results, pair this pose with Cat Pose as you exhale to create a gentle flow.

Beginner's Tip:

Draw your shoulders downward away from your ears to elongate your neck as you stretch up. The goal is not to scrunch your neck up but rather lengthen your neck as you look upward.

Cow Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:

Bitilasana

Pose Level:

Level 1

Contraindications and Cautions:

  • If you had a recent neck injury, then keep your head in line with your torso instead of arching your head up.
  • Do this pose under the supervision of an experienced teacher if you've had a lower-back injury.

Cow Pose Benefits

  • Gives a deep stretch to the front torso, upper back and neck
  • Gently massages the abdominal organs

Next Pose:

Crow Pose

9 styles | 152 poses

Beginner Yoga Poses

Bharadvaja's Twist Pose
Big Toe Pose
Boat Pose
Bound Angle Pose
Bow Pose
Bridge Pose
Camel Pose
Cat Pose
Chair Pose
Child's Pose
Cobra Pose
Corpse Pose
Cow Pose
Cow Face Pose
Crow Pose
Dolphin Plank Pose
Downward Dog Pose
Eagle Pose
Eight Angle Pose
Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
Extended Puppy Pose
Extended Side Angle Pose
Firefly Pose
Fish Pose
Garland Pose
Half Frog Pose
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Half Moon Pose
Yoga Handstand
Happy Baby Pose
Head To Knee Pose
High Lunge Pose
Legs Up The Wall Pose
Locust Pose
Lotus Pose
Shoulder Pressing Pose
Low Lunge Pose
Monkey Pose
Mountain Pose
Noose Pose
Plank Pose
Plow Pose
Sage Koundinya I Pose
Sage Marichi's Pose
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
Revolved Triangle Pose
Revolved Head to Knee Pose
Reclining Hero Pose
Scale Pose
Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose
Peacock Pose
Pyramid Pose
Crescent Lunge Pose
Heron Pose
Hero Pose
Feathered Peacock Pose
Staff Pose
Seated Forward Bend Pose
Four Limbed Staff Pose
Revolved Side Angle Pose
Wild Thing Pose
Side Crow Pose
Side Plank Pose
Sphinx Pose
Supported Headstand (Sirsasana)
Tree Pose
Standing Split
Supported Shoulderstand
Standing Half Forward Bend
Triangle Pose
Upward Plank Pose
Upward Facing Two Foot Staff Pose
Wheel Pose
Upward Salute Pose
Upward Facing Dog Pose
Warrior I Pose
Warrior II Pose
Warrior III Pose
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
Easy Pose
Gate Pose
Wide Legged Forward Fold
Dancer Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II
Marichi's Pose
Fire Log Pose
Standing Forward Bend
Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II

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