Cow Pose

Tracey Kelley
cow pose in yoga

Cow Pose, or Bitilasana, is sometimes paired with Cat Pose for a smooth asana flow sequence.

About Cow Pose

Bitilasana means "cow" in Sanskrit. You may hear Cow Pose referred to as Cat Lift, and that's fine. However, Cow Pose is not the same as Cow Face Pose, which is a seated posture..

The rise and fall of the body in Cow Pose extends many benefits, including:

  • A great stretch for the torso and back
  • An awakening of the spine
  • Released tension from the stomach and groins

Step Into the Pose

To perform Cow Pose:

  1. Start on all fours, with your knees and hands in alignment with the shoulders and hips. Your back should be flat, in the tabletop position, stomach tight.
  2. Center your head between the shoulders and look at the floor.
  3. On an inhale, relax the stomach as you raise your chest and sitting bones up. This will put a slight bend in your lower back.
  4. Breathe. As you exhale, return to tabletop.
  5. Repeat the motion as often as you like.

This pose is often combined with Cat Pose. Start the sequence in Cat Pose, moving out of the arch into Cow Pose, then back to Cat. A final touch is to end the series by releasing Cow into Child's Pose.

Beginner Tips

As you bring the chest up, there's a tendency to scrunch the shoulders and restrict the neck. Make sure to draw the shoulders down from the ears and let the shoulder blades expand into the chest.

Cow Pose