Finding Joy in Movement

Gomukasana/ Cow Face Pose

Gomukasana is a very beneficial pose but one in which there is quite a bit going on. Until you get comfortable with the pose, I recommend taking just the leg and then just the arm portion of the pose until you feel ready to put them both together.

Start in Dandasana, then bring the knees in toward the chest and place the feet on the floor. Slide the left leg under the right, bending the knee to place the left foot to the outside of the right hip. Bend the right leg to bring the right foot to the outside of the left hip, stacking the knees. For this version of the pose, you can deepen the hip stretch by moving the feet away from the hips or bringing them closer to relieve a bit of the stretch, but keep both feet about the same distance away from it’s associated hip. Keep both sit bones grounded into the mat evenly.

Taking the right arm around the back, and bend the elbow so that the back of the hand rests on the back with the fingers pointing up toward the neck. Reach the left arm straight up with the palm facing back, then bend the elbow to bring the left hand to meet the right. If possible, clasp the fingers together. You can always use a strap here if needed, walking the hands closer together until you are able to hook the fingers. Extend the left elbow up toward the ceiling, opening the armpit. The rule of thumb here is that whichever leg is on top is the same side as the arm that is on the bottom (i.e. right leg on top, right arm underneath and vice versa).

Try and make sure that you are not excessively curving the lower back. Tuck the tailbone a bit if you find this happening to restore the natural curve of the spine. If there is any pain in the knees, back out and find a more comfortable angle for the legs. If the hips are too tight, this pose can put excess strain on the knees, which is obviously undesirable.

Stay in Gomukasana for at least 30 seconds, then switch sides (both legs and arms) and repeat for the same amount of time on the second side.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!

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