Overview of Pose: Cat Pulling Tail is a wonderful whole spine twist that pits the lumbar spine against the thoracic and cervical spines to help work into the deepest (subserrous) fascia of the body.
Basic Cuing: From Sphinx Pose, walk the left elbow in slightly (1-3”), shift weight into left elbow and lift right arm out to side/up to sky. Thread the right arm behind the left elbow, then roll all the way onto the right side of the body (shoulder, torso, hip and thigh). Draw the top (left) knee into the belly and “trap” it with the right hand. Now, take the right heel back toward the buttocks and grab the foot (or ankle or shin) with the left hand (this is your tail). Press the right foot into the left hand to pull the tail, then work to open the left shoulder all the way back to the ground.
Modifications/Props: Use a towel or strap to assist students with the tail bind. Blanket or mat under the bottom hip helps reduce stress/pressure on same. Placing a block, bolster or blanket under the head helps relax and protect the neck. Placing a bolster, blanket or block under the top knee or shoulder allows for a deeper twist while relaxing the low back.
Flow Ideas: Since Cat Pulling Tail can be cued from the back and the belly, this pose works great as a delicious twist within any flow. It takes a while to cue, however, so should be held for at least 3-5 minutes to allow the body time to settle into the pose.