Yoga

How To Do The Cow Face Pose And What Are Its Benefits : Gomukhasana

Cow Face Pose or Gomukhasana is a seated yoga posture that deeply stretches the hips and shoulders. It calms the mind and brings balance to the whole body. Due to a lifetime of incorrect postural habits, many people are imbalanced between the left and right sides of the body. By simultaneously stretching the top and bottom of both sides of the body, you can more easily discover your own imbalances and work to regain equilibrium in mind, body, and spirit.

What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana

This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Do not practice this pose if you have a recent or chronic shoulder or knee injury. Also avoid this pose if you have any serious neck or shoulder problems.

Gomukhasana
Gomukhasana

How To Do The Gomukhasana : Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Sit erect on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  2. Now gently bend your left leg, and place it under your right buttock.
  3. Fold your right leg and place it over your left thigh.
  4. Place both your knees close together as they are stacked one on top of the other.
  5. Gently fold your left arm and place it behind your back.
  6. Take your right arm over your right shoulder, and stretch it as much as you can until it reaches your left hand. With practice, you will be able to not just reach, but also catch your left hand.
  7. Keep the trunk erect, expand your chest, and lean slightly back.
  8. Hold this pose for as long as you are comfortable, as you breathe slowly and deeply. Concentrate on your breathing.

Tips

Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:

  • To evenly distribute the stretch across your body, be sure to raise the arm that is on the same side of the body as your bottom leg.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t yet cross your legs knee-to-knee or clasp your fingers. Take it slowly and focus on the pose you can do, not on the pose you wish you could do. Flexibility will come in time.
  • Build up to this pose by practicing postures that open your outer hips. Some examples include Easy Pose with Forward Fold (Adho Mukha Sukhasana), Half Lotus Tree Pose (Ardha Padmasana Vrksasana), and One-Legged King Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana).
  • Remember to breathe smoothly and evenly throughout the pose. The more you relax in the pose, the more your hips and shoulders will open up.

Beginner’s Tip

Beginners often have a difficult time getting both sitting bones to rest evenly on the floor, which can make it difficult for the knees to stack on top of each other evenly. When the pelvis is tilted, the spine can’t properly extend. Use a folded blanket or bolster to lift the sitting bones off the floor and support them evenly.

Modifications & Variations

Try these changes to find a variation of the pose that works for you:

  • If your hips are very tight, do not sit flat on the floor. Prop yourself up on a blanket, two blankets, a bolster, a block, or a meditation pillow. Lifting your hips above the level of your knees will greatly reduce the amount of stress and discomfort in your hips, knees, and back. Experiment with different heights of support to find the one that is most appropriate for you.
  • If there is significant distance between your knees, place a folded blanket or a block beneath your top thigh for extra support.
  • If you are unable to hook your fingers together, use a strap between your hands. Keep your hands about 6-10 inches apart and gradually walk your hands closer together as you gain flexibility.
  • To deepen the full version of the pose, fold forward and rest your torso on your top thigh.

Benefits Of The Cow Face Pose

These are some amazing benefits of Gomukhasana.

  1. This asana helps to flex the back, making it more elastic.
  2. It helps to cure stiff shoulders and also helps reduce backaches.
  3. Practicing the Gomukhasana also aids in the treatment of sciatica.
  4. It enhances the working of the kidneys, thereby helping those suffering from diabetes.
  5. It also works the chest muscles and helps in treating sexual ailments.
  6. Practicing this asana regularly can reduce stress and anxiety.

Preparatory Poses

  • Baddha Konasana
  • Supta Virasana
  • Supta Baddha Konasana
  • Supta Padangusthasana
  • Upavistha Konasana
  • Virasana

Follow-up Poses

  • Ardha Matsyendrasana
  • Bharadvajasana
  • Garudasana
  • Marichyasana III
  • Padmasana
  • Paschimottanasana
  • Upavistha Konasana

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be easy to revert to old and incorrect ways of sitting, standing, and even lying down. Slowing down to practice yoga can help break those habits of imbalance and help you to regain suppleness and ease in your daily life. Adding Cow Face Pose to your practice will benefit your life in many ways, both on and off the mat!

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