Gomukhasana – Looking from above, this posture resembles the face of a cow, with the feet making the horns and knees making the mouth. Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) is a simple seated posture that packs in amazing benefits to the body for a single pose. This pose addresses two of the most common areas for chronic pain and tension in the body: the hips and shoulders – Gomukhasana with Yoga Lily, Hatha Yoga Classes in Milton Keynes.
1. Many people benefit by first warming up the hips with Ankle-to-Knee Pose (Agnistambhasana). Sit cross-legged with the left leg in front. Pick up the left leg and place the left ankle on top of the right knee. Position the lower leg so the right ankle is on the floor underneath the left knee and the shinbones will form a triangle with the thighs. Flex the heels of both feet, activating the inner thighs and calf muscles. Let gravity help the left knee release down. To increase hip opening, lean forward and slide the hands along the floor. Stay for one minute, then change sides.
2. Sit on the floor with the feet apart and the knees slightly bent. Bring the right foot under the left knee and place the heel close to the left hip. Have the toes pointing left. Then bring the left foot close to the right hip, toes pointing to the right. The left knee should now be over the right knee. If it doesn’t approach this work on hip openers such as step one above (preparation for cow posture – Agnistambhasana). Keep the weight equally distributed between sitting bones. Press the left knee down with both hands to bring these together.
3. Extend your left arm out to the side and rotate the shoulder inward so the palm faces the back and some points down. Bend the elbow and bring the left hand behind the back, Palm facing outward. Stretch the right arm up, rotate the arm from the shoulder so that the thumb points backward, then bend the elbow to clasp the hands behind the back. Move the right elbow back and more to the centre line behind the head and lift the chest.
Take a few breaths, then release the hands, then legs and repeat on the other side.
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.
If you have difficulty sitting cross-legged with your hips on the floor, lighten the pose with a yoga block under your sitting bones.
In yoga we use a counter pose in a sequence; For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralise” the spine, or a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.