Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) derives from the Sanskrit words go, which means cow, and mukha, which means face.
The yoga position is so named because the student’s thighs and calves, which are wide at one end and taper toward the other, resemble the shape of a cow’s face.
Stack the knees directly on top of each other in this street and twist pose, you’ll need flexible legs and shoulders that can clasp their hands behind your backs for support from your balanced hips.
Gomukhasana, also known as Cow Face Pose, is a fantastic yoga pose for opening the hips and the heart. After assuming the pose, the arms, shoulders, and legs feel incredibly relaxed.
The pose has been incorporated into the Nadi Shodhana Sequence Second Series and the Yoga Sequence for Balancing 7 Chakras because of the movements of the four limbs and the pressure points on the join areas.
Steps for a Cow Face Pose:
- Legs extended and spine straight, sit on the floor.
- The left leg must be brought to the floor with the knee bent, and the body should be raised slightly so that the left foot is below the right buttocks. Take the ankle and toes deep inside the left foot as you sit.
- Bring the right foot to the left buttocks on the floor, raise the right leg, bend it at the knee, and place the right thigh over the left thigh.
- To ensure proper body balancing, place both knees above the other or, if possible, interlocked deeper.
- Stretch your left arm out over your shoulder and brow.
- The left palm should be placed behind you, close to the shoulder blade, while bending it.
- The right arm is now raised, taken behind you from below, bent at the elbow, and the right palm is placed there while reaching for the left.
- Once you’re at ease, grab hold of the left palm and hold on while feeling the stretch in your shoulders and elbows.
- Once the grip has been established, pull the palms together and raise the upper body upward while bringing the chest out and keeping the neck in line with the shoulders and chest.
- Legs, knees, chest, abdomen, shoulders, arms, neck, and elbows can all feel stretched.
- After a few breaths, hold this position and then gradually come out of it.
- Stretch the legs out in the front and lower your arms next to you to relax.
- After a few breaths in the relaxed position, cross the left thigh over the right thigh to bring the left foot close to the right buttocks on the floor. Then, bring the right leg bent at the knee and place the right foot close to the left buttocks.
- Raise your right arm, bringing your right palm up and behind your head and placing it next to your back shoulder blade.
- Extend your left arm to the side as you try to grasp the right palm with your left hand. Place your left palm next to your left shoulder blade.
- Pull the shoulder blades together and outwardly expand the spine by interlocking the fingers.
- After a few breaths in this position, release the arms, extend the leg in front, and relax.
- Relax the body completely and go back into the pose to better understand the pose and the posture.
Benefits of the Cow Face Pose (Cow Face Pose)
Stretches, Strengthens and Lengthens:
Cow Face Pose is one of the best poses for opening the shoulders, and when performed with the back stretched and twisted, it also expands the chest. Stretching the hips, ankles, shoulders, and arms in this position strengthens the muscles and joints surrounding them.
Since the thighs are interlocked, the quadriceps muscles become flexible, and the hip joints are stretched deeply due to the effort required to achieve good thigh interlock.
During the pose, the shoulders and chest open up, strengthening and erecting the upper back.
Flexibility and Range of Motion:
By stretching the hamstrings, athletes can improve their flexibility over time with consistent practice. In addition to strengthening the biceps and triceps muscles, the arms also become more flexible in the shoulder and upper arms.
Chest, Diaphragm, and Breath:
Gomukhasana is a hip opener and a heart opener, so both will aid in bringing balance to the body. It also benefits the spine, keeping it in good shape and improving lung function thanks to the chest’s maximum expansion.
Awareness and Concentration:
Students must ground their sit bones to ensure that the body’s weight is distributed evenly while performing the Cow Face Pose. The spine remains long, stretched, and almost neutral while the pelvis is active, the core is engaged, and the shoulders work differently to open the chest.
Holding the pose gets much easier when these things are kept in mind consciously. However, the hips (grounding the sit bones) and maintaining an active pelvis are the main points of attention.
With this level of awareness, students can then easily advance to the hip-intensive variations of the cow face pose—the foot variation, the forward bend variation, and the side stretch variation.
Alignment and Posture:
The cow face pose is useful to counteract prolonged periods of sitting in a chair or hunching over a desk, increasing blood supply to the legs and arms. To get the most out of the position, students should be constantly reminded to keep their shoulders over their hips, their feet close to their hips, their hips in line with one another, and their elbows and forearms equally active to open their chests.
Keeping these in mind improves the torso’s overall posture, which influences breathing, improves blood flow, improves prana flow (both upwards and downwards), and enhances the nervous system by sending signals to the brain.
Energizing, De-stressing and Relaxing:
The entire spine is stretched, bringing in a good flow of prana of the base to the crown of the head and the opposite from the crown to the base of the spine immediately upon release from the pose.
More energy flowing through the body can improve one’s capacity for effective stress management, improve general well-being, and raise vibrations, allowing the body and mind to rest.
Stimulation and Organs:
By raising the entire body upward until the arms or fingers are interlocked in the back, you stimulate the lower abdominal muscles, enabling the healthy function of the abdominal organs.
Treatment, Recovery, and Illnesses:
If there is no ligament damage, the knee’s flexion can help heal some types of knee weakness. As the knee is pushed towards the ground in the pose, this helps to open the limb at the knee.
The various Gomukhasana Variations work the abdominal muscles to help with digestion and other conditions affecting the organs in the abdomen.
Gomukhasana’s expanded diaphragm and improved breathing improve the chest’s blood circulation and are thought to prevent all types of allergies because the blood is purified when there is enough oxygen in it.
By focusing more on the human anatomy, this pose keeps the entire body well-flexed and creates space for proper blood and prana flow throughout the entire body.
The entire torso is toned, and deep abdominal stretches also burn the unnecessary fat in the tummy area.
Contraindications to the Cow Face Pose (Cow Face Pose)
- Injury and Surgery: Students who have had surgery on their internal organs or have recently sustained a knee, hip, hamstring, quadriceps, neck, or shoulder should not engage in this activity.
- Physical Strength and Weakness: To practice Revolved Cow Face Pose, students with tight hips and lower back pain should sit on a pillow or blanket to support their hips. Take it slow and easy if your student has very stiff shoulders. While this pose aids in the sciatic nerve’s opening, it may also be dangerous if students experience extreme sciatic pain or stiffness. Therefore, under the supervision of a qualified teacher, students who have been dealing with sciatica for many months or years can try the Cow Face Pose.
- Others: The practice of cow face pose opens and stimulates the body’s various meridians and the upper thighs’ deeper tissues and ligaments. Additionally, in this position, the pelvic floor muscles are strained, and blood flow to the pelvis is constrained; for these reasons, pregnant women should refrain from performing this pose. Seniors who struggle with their hips and thighs should exercise caution when practicing the Cow Face Pose. To stretch the side upper thighs, perform the same motions while seated in a chair.