Cow Face Pose

 

(Gomukhasana)

Level: Moderate

Benefits: Stretches the hips, ankles, shoulders and chest.

Cautions: Knees, shoulders

How To

cow-face
Fig. 1Fig. 2Fig. 3
  1. Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched.
  2. Bend your knees and slide your right foot under your left leg and bring the right foot along the left side of your body. (fig 1)
  3. Slide your left foot to the right of the body and, if you can, lay your left thigh on top of your right with the knees directly in line. (fig 2)
  4. Move your feet slightly away from your body and encourage the right sitting bone to sit firmly on the floor.
  5. Raise your right arm and bend the elbow to allow the hand to drape down your spine.
  6. Slide your left arm around the back of the body and reach up to hold your right hand. (fig 3)
  7. Point your right elbow directly up and lift up through the spine while you relax your hips.
Modifications
  • If your right hip lifts off the floor place a cushion or folded blanket under your left hip to even them up.
  • If hands don’t meet behind the body place a belt or strap between them.
  • Sit on a folded blanket to help the spine extend upward.
To Deepen
  • Increase the stretch across the front of the shoulders by moving your hands away from your back a little.
  • For a deep stretch try leaning forward over your knees. (fig 3)