Bitilasana | Cow Pose | How to do Cow Pose in Yoga


cow pose yoga

Cow Yoga Pose is a gentle, versatile pose that can warm you up for a more intense practice or can stand alone to help you calm down and relax. Cow is traditionally done as part of cat-cow pose, but it can warm up your spine, shoulders, and hips when done on its own.

Cow Pose gets its name from the fact that it resembles a cow stretching. The sanskrit name of the pose is bitilasana, which translates to "cow pose". The convex position of cow pose stretches the muscles of your neck, spine and hips. It belongs to the back-bending family of yoga poses and targets your core.


  • begin on your yoga mat on your hands and knees. your knees should be under your hips, and your hands should be slightly ahead of your shoulders, shoulder distance apart
  • press down on your hands firmly
  • on an inhale, lower your stomach to arch your back, broaden your chest, and lift your chin and chest
  • focus on elongating the back of your neck and keeping your abdominal muscles engages to stretch your upper back
  • hold for several breaths
  • when you're ready to come out of the pose, return your spine to a neutral position


  • improves spinal mobility
  • reduces stiffness in the thoracic spine
  • stretches the abs and hip flexors
  • can help to correct poor posture
  • can help to alleviate neck, upper back and lower back pain
  • when we practice cow pose properly, we press through the pads of the fingers to distribute the body weight across the hands
  • this strengthens fingers and hands, helping children develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination


  • Protect your neck by broadening across your shoulder blades and drawing your shoulders down, away from your ears
  • if you're not used to putting weight through your hands start with some wrist and hand warm-up exercises first
  • rotate your wrists and then shake your hands out
  • make fists and then stretch out your fingers 
  • if you have sensitive knees, roll the outer edges of your yoga mat or use a folded blanket under the knees to create extra padding
  • breathe slowly and deeply as your practice to calm the nervous system and allow for a deeper stretch

  • Beginners : 10 - 20 seconds
  • Intermediate : 20 - 40 seconds
  • Advanced: 1 - 2 minute


Avoid or modify this pose if you have diastasis recti, the partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis muscles which meet at the midline of your stomach. Diastasis recti is very common during and following pregnancy since the muscles are stretched by the growing uterus. Pregnant bodies are already experiencing significant spinach extension, so intentionally entering into deep backbends risks causing separation in the linea alba, a fibrous structure that runs vertically down the midline of the abdomen.


  • seated version: sit on a chair or in an easy cross-legged position. place your hands on your knees and open your chest on the in-breath. add the cat pose on the out-breath
  • standing version: stand with your legs hips width apart, knees bent. place your hands on your thighs and open your chest on the in-breath. add the cat post on the out-breath
  • from all fours, try creating a wave-like motion, moving your tailbone first and allowing your spine to follow
  • make a cat- cow sequence into a core awakening exercise by extending out your opposite arm and leg in cow pose and then drawing the elbow back and the knee to the nose as your draw your belly in and round your back in Cat pose

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