Cow Pose is the shape of the spine in all backbends. It's a common outdated alignment cue to tuck your pelvis or even your tailbone to lengthen the lower back in extensions. Instead tighten the abdominals - and I mean deeply engage at lower belly, ribs, and throat - for stability, and move the backbend through the whole spine using the deep spinal muscles - the multifidus - like a zipper of strength around each vertebra, with extra engagement in the upper back.
Backbends feel good - that is, integrated, powerful, and free - when your front core resists so that you have to use your back muscles to bend. Watch how I keep the strength of Cat Pose in my abdomen, and move my spine into Cow Pose one vertebra at a time starting at the lowest. Then notice I continue pointing my tailbone up in Locust Pose, just like in Cow Pose, which is why I can lift so high. I then rock back into Cobra Pose with that deep core stability on both sides of my spine, extending energy from the diaphragm evenly through the tailbone and crown.
Intrigued? Will explore this and so much more in my ALIGNMENT MINI-IMMERSION, which begins next Saturday! See Link in bio for more details.