Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana) Explained

This guide will talk about the Gomukhasana or better known as the Cow Face pose, its benefits, contraindications, and how to do the pose most straightforwardly.

What Is Gomukhasana or Cow Face Pose?

Cow Face Pose is an easy seated yoga pose that exercises multiple parts of the body all at once, including the chest, triceps, shoulders, underarms, hips, thighs, and ankles. Gomukhasana is a word from Sanskrit that literally means cow face pose that’s known for offering a cross-stretch in the upper body.

This seated yoga pose is one of the traditional yoga poses mentioned in Hatha Pradipika. Static stretching is the central concept which the curriculum of classical hatha yoga teaches. This is beneficial for stabilizing the muscles without creating deep tensions in the body by applying isometric contractions.

Gomukhasana has helped many people, especially those who are suffering from diabetes, sexual imbalances, and back and shoulder injuries. This pose is best for restoring the balance of your overall health. Hence, this is the best pose to add to your daily yoga routine.

Why Is It Called Cow Face Pose?

Gomukhasana is named after the illusion made by the pose, a face of a cow. The cow’s nose and mouth are the crossed legs, and the ears being the arms, while the upper body makes the length of the cow’s snout.

Who Should Not Do the Cow Face Pose?

1. If your shoulders are very stiff, performing this pose may become complex. However, you have to take it really slow and easy to achieve it.

2. You have to remember that there will be an excessive stretch at the upper arms and wrist parts. The guidance of the yoga teacher is necessary while doing this. Doing this pose without understanding how flexible your arms are is inadvisable.

3. If you are suffering from hip problems or knee injuries, quadriceps, or hamstrings, doing this pose should be avoided.

4. If you feel pain in the sciatic nerve, stretching your knees may not be a good thing as you will just trigger the aches.

5. It is not appropriate to perform this pose if you have a shoulder or neck injury.

6. Do no perform this pose if you have back pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, and knee pain, as it will only worsen your situation.

7. Strictly, do not perform this pose if you are pregnant, as stretching the legs at the thigh region may trigger pressure to the bottom abdomen, which is not safe for the baby.

How to Do Gomukhasana?

1. First, get comfortable in a mountain pose position. Once you are ready to move, exhale, then gently bend the right knee and put it on the left knee to make the right sole and left the hip meet, and inhale. Do it to the other side.

2. Exhale and slowly bend the left knee and put it on the right knee to touch the left sole and right hip.

3. Next, breathe in as you raise the right arm and interlock the fingers with the left hand from the back.

4. Sit up straight and hold it as you stretch your legs forward.

5. Stretch your left leg slowly and put it under your right hip.

6. At this point, bend the right leg easily, crossing it over to your left leg. Take note that your knees should be on top of each other closely.

7. Maintain your body straight while performing this step.

8. Stretch the left hand and gently put it behind you, facing downward. Do it again to the right hand but facing upwards, above the right shoulder.

9. Then gently stretch your right hand downwards up until the point it reaches your left hand. If you are having a hard time achieving this step, do it at your own pace so you will get used to it.

10. Hold this pose for thirty seconds up to one minute.

What Are the Benefits of Gomukhasana?

There are multiple mind-body benefits that you can get from Gomukhasana

1. It can help lower the stress symptoms and make you feel better, a healthy person.

2. Practicing breathwork daily with this pose can offer better mental and emotional health.

3. It stretches your ankles, thighs, shoulders, triceps, and thorax.

4. It improves your back.

5. It helps to relax your body and mind.

6. It can help treat diabetes.

7. If practiced regularly, this can improve your posture. The cow face pose can improve spine function, chest muscles, and shoulder blades, enhancing the body’s posture.

8. It can also cure sexual disorders by restoring blood flow and removing stiffness from the lower body, which also helps to tranquilize the body.

9. It makes your shoulders more flexible and invites you into a state of relaxation.

10. If you lack concentration, this pose can motivate peace of mind and calmness in the body.

11. This pose is suitable for increasing the strength and flexibility of shoulders, which prevents a dropping and stiff shoulders.

12. It improves the spinal column and eases back and neck pains.

13. It heightens chest and lung function.

14. It heals and eases digestive problems.

15. It increases the hips’ range of motion and makes the muscles in the pelvic girdle flexible.

16. It boosts the reproductive system, which in turn brings better health.

17. Gomukhasana is suitable for exercising the neck and lower back that can help to stabilize the blood pressure.

18. This pose can help you prepare to go into a state of meditation.

Practicing the cow face pose or Gomukhasana has multiple mind-body benefits that can offer. Performing this pose on a daily basis will definitely refine your flexibility and improve the muscle groups in the upper body. But just like any other yogic poses, this pose is best performed with a professional yoga teacher and with proper consent from your health care provider. Have fun, and see you on the mat!