Gomukhasana is called Cow Face pose because the folded legs resemble a cow’s mouth while the elbows resemble the cow’s ears. The pose stretches vital joints such as shoulders, arms, ankles, hips, thighs and back.
How to do Cow Face Pose in 5 Easy Steps
- Bend your right leg over your left, placing the right heel to the outside of your left hip. Now bend your left knee, bringing your left heel to the outside of your right hip.
- Raise the right arm and place the hand over the shoulder. Place the left arm and hand behind the back.
- Try to grasp the left hand with the right hand behind the back. Join the fingers of the two hands.
- Hold the spine erect. Raise the head so that it faces forwards.
- This is the final pose. Alternatively, Do it from the other side.
8 top facts about Cow Face Pose
- Gomukhasana is pronounced as “go-moo-KAHS-anna”, wherein Go means ‘cow’, and Mukha means ‘face’.
- It is one of the best yoga poses to enlarge the shape of the breast.
- Excellent yoga for lung expansion
- Wonderful yoga for inverted asanas and backbend yoga poses.
- Target areas: Hips, ankles, shoulders, arms, chest.
- It highlights how different the two sides of the human body are.
- It is interesting to know that Gomukhasana is one of the 84 hatha yoga asanas picked by lord Shiva.
- Gheraṇḍa-saṃhitā, a Sanskrit encyclopaedia, mentions this yoga pose as one of the important 32 asanas among 84 lakhs asanas.
Variations and modifications
Many people are facing difficulties in practising this yoga pose. However, using props and straps can be practised more comfortably. Those who have stiff shoulders should use a strap. Block or blankets can also be used for sitting to maintain suitable space for the legs.
Preparatory and Counter Poses
- Dandasana (Staff Pose)
- Uttana Mandukasana (Upright Frog Pose)
- Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
- Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
- Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)
- Shashankasana (Rabbit Pose)
- Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)
- Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
- Dandasana (Staff Pose)
- In case the sitting bones are not correctly rested on the floor, better to use folded blanket or cushion.
- If the fingertips of both the hands don’t meet, use a strap. The strap will be held by the top hand followed by catching by the lower hand.
- Counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting.
- Stretches the hips and thighs.
- Opens the chest and thoracic spine.
- Keep your spine straight from the top of your head to your tailbone.
- Twisting of the spine shouldn’t be there while joining your hands.
- Tailbone should be broaden on the floor.
- It shouldn’t be practiced in case of shoulder, neck, or knee injury.
- Special focus should be on your knees, knee injuries and pain.
If you wish you can practise ujjayi pranayama. The breathing should be standard in the final pose. Please keep in mind the breathing in the final pose.
Contraindications and limitations
- Knee injury
- Spinal problems
- Elbow pain
- Shoulder pain or injury
- Excessive body pain
- Injury to legs
- Muscular tearing of thighs
- Bleeding piles
- Tendon or ligament injury