One Way to Place the Spine - The Cat

A variant of this exercise was taught to me in Droznin class at the National Theater Institute.

An exercise to loosen up the muscles and vertebral column:

'The cat.' - This exercise is based on the observation of a cat as it awakes and stretches itself. The subject lies stretched out face downwards, completely relaxed. The legs are apart and the arms at right angles to the body, palms towards the floor. the "cat" wakes up and draws the hands in towards the floor. The "cat" wakes up and draws the hands in towards the chest, keeping the elbows upwards, so that the palms of the hands form a basis for support. He hips are raised, while the legs "walk" on tiptoe towards the hands. Raise and stretch the left leg sideways, at the same time lifting and stretching the head. Replace the left leg on the ground, supported by the tips of the toes.  Repeat the same movements with the right leg, the head still stretching upwards. Stretch the spine, placing the center of gravity first in the centre of the spine, and then higher up towards the nape of the neck. Then turn over and fall onto the back, relaxing.

Grotowski, Jerzy, and Eugenio Barba. Towards a Poor Theatre. New York: Routledge, 2002. 135. Print.

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