How to do cat pose
Start cat pose by kneeling on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Slowly arch your back up, looking between your arms, towards your tummy. Then move your tummy down, making it ‘long’ and lift your head to look forward. Be careful not to arch your back too deeply.
Meow like a cat!
Cat pose tips & variations
Giving you child a ‘goal’ can make the activity more meaningful and encourage them to ‘keep on trying’. Cut out a small piece of white fabric and place it on the floor in front of your child. This will represent their ‘milk’. Encourage your child to come forward onto their arms more and bend their elbows so they touch the milk with their noses – just like a cat sniffing the milk to see if it will taste good.
Find a blanket or sheet and stretch it over two chairs to make a little ‘cat house’. Do cat pose together and crawl in and out of your new home. Be careful not to bump your head!
Shake your ‘cat paws’
Place a favourite soft toy in front of you both. First show your child what to do (i.e. stretch out one arm or ‘paw’ towards the toy, wave ‘hello’ to it or to give it a stroke)!
Encourage your child to copy you. As they stretch out their arm towards the toy your child will be improving both their balance and their co-ordination skills. This pattern of movement is similar to writing so can be regarded as a ‘pre-writing’ skill.
Go looking for mice!
Hide a toy under a rug or chair and then pretend to be cats – setting off to find it. If your child is younger, you may have to repeat this game several times so they get the idea, remember to make questioning/thinking gestures with your toddler as you ‘wonder’ where the toy is.
The benefits of cat pose
Cat pose is great for grow ups too!
As with all poses, it is great to do the pose yourself so your toddler can copy you. If you do not have any back problems, you can tuck your chin in towards your chest and gently arch your back towards the ceiling – like a cat having a stretch. Try to breathe out and tighten your tummy muscles as you do the movement. Hold this arched position for a few seconds, breathing normally but keeping your tummy muscles tight, then gently bring your back down to the starting position. Remember not over arch your back the other way.
As you do these movements you will probably find you have to use your tummy muscles more to keep your balance. This will help support your back & strengthen your core (children tend to do this automatically).
A note on safety:
- If you have any issues with your back, please seek advice before doing cat pose and stop immediately if it starts to hurt.
- Make sure both you and your child are on a non-slip mat, or fixed carpet.
- Keep your back level and do not let it sink downwards too far as this can cause strains.
- Make sure you have a clear space around you so that you don’t fall on anything hard if you do lose your balance.
Make it Multi-Sensory, Educational & Fun
In this week’s adventure, Tatty Bumpkin meets the stretchy, stripy cat and together they set out to discover what people do all day. What kind of job do you think would be best for you? Do you like: moving about and being outside, making or growing things or maybe you enjoy doing something with machines or perhaps helping other people?
In Tatty Bumpkin classes we use unique storylines to make the activities meaningful and to fire the imagination.