When we were a child we used to make animal faces a lot, but at that time we had no idea that an Animal Face can provide a lot of health benefits.
Yes, you have read it right, Gomukhasana which is also known as Cow Pose have lots of benefits.
So, let’s recall our childhood, and understand the Gomukhasana.
Gomukhasana is one of the ancient asanas, unlike mostly asanas that are 100 to 300 years old. It is one of the 8 asanas described in Darshan Upanishad adventureyogaonline.com that was written in the 4th century.
Gomukhasana is a seated asana in the Hatha Yoga and Modern yogic practice that helps to stretches arms, triceps, shoulder, and chest.
Gomukhasana helps to increase the range of shoulder flexion, made other asanas such as Adho Mukha Svanasana, Virabhadrasana, and Adho Mukha Vrksasana easy to do.
Why is it called Gomukhasana?
Gomukhasana is a Sanskrit word:
Go means Cow
Mukha means Face or Mouth
Asana means Posture
Now, you must be wondering, how it is pronounced? So, let’s see its pronunciation.
It is pronounced as go–moo–KAHS–anna.
How to do Gomukhasana/ Cow Pose?
Being an easy yoga pose, it attracts everyone’s attention. All age groups, male, and female anyone can do it easily.
Grab your yoga mat, and be ready to perform it with me.
- Sit straight on the yoga mat with legs stretched out straight in front of you.
- Then, firmly bend your left leg, and place your left feet under the right butt.
- Now, bend your right leg, and place it over the thighs of your left leg.
- Now move your legs further
- So, that your knees are together and they are one on top of another.
- Now raise your right hand over your shoulder
- Gently bend the right hand, and take it behind the back (center of the back)
- Bring your left hand behind the back, and clasp both hands.
- Adjust a bit to make yourself comfortable in the posture.
- Take slow, and deep breaths. Focus on breathing
- Hold the pose for as long as you are comfortable
- As you exhale, unfold the legs, and bring your hands down
- Repeat with alternate leg, and hand
When should we do Gomukhasana/ Cow Pose?
The best time to practice Gomukhasana is in the morning because your stomach and bowel are empty in the morning.
Benefits of Gomukhasana/ Cow Pose
- It stretches arms, chest, shoulder, hips, ankles, and armpits
- Good for high blood pressure patients
- Improves posture
- It calms the mind and body
- Strengthens the muscles in arms, chest, shoulder, and hips
- Helps to cure sciatica (pain transmitting along the sciatic nerve, which runs down legs from the lower back)
- Gomukhasana opens up the chest
- Improve the functioning of kidney artofliving.org
- It opens up the hips, beneficial for those who often spend their time sitting
- Helps to reduce anxiety, and cure mild depression
- Make the spine more flexible
- Reduce the cervical pain
Precautions and Contraindications
- Avoid doing this pose if you have an injury in the knee, ankle, and shoulders. If the pain is not much, you can do this but under the supervision of an expert.
- Leave the pose if it causing you pain in the knees
- If you recently had Hip Replacement Surgery, refrain from this pose. Because the surgery makes the joints unstable for few months.
- Refrain from this pose, if you have an injury in muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- Avoid in case of bleeding piles
- Spondylitis (inflammatory arthritis)
- Don’t do this if you have calf muscles tear
- If you have tight/stiff shoulders, don’t go beyond your capability. Even if you don’t have any issues, don’t push harder than your capability.
Arching the back – People tend to arch the back to hold the hands, don’t do this mistake. Your spine should be straight from head to tailbone.
Not interchanging the leg and hand – Many uses to keep the same leg and hand up. You are supposed to change it, so keep that in mind.
Forcing too much – Don’t push your body too hard to clasp the hands, it can cause you injury. What you can do is that use a strap at the initial stage.
Tips for beginners
- Start with lying on the floor, or yoga mat
- Cross your left leg over the right
- Bend your both legs
- Hold the outer edge of the left foot with the right hand, and the outer edge of the right foot with the left hand
- Keep your knees stacked
- Bend your elbows, and flex the feet
- Hold the posture for few breaths
- As you exhale, unfold the legs, and leave the posture
- Repeat with the alternate leg (interchange the leg position)
Since you want to improve posture, flexibility, and reduce stress and anxiety start doing Gomukhasana.
The list of benefits that Cow face pose provides is very huge. And it is one of the oldest yoga postures.
It is not much hard for beginners to do it, use a strap if you are having difficulty holding the hands.
I hope I have answered your all questions if you still have any doubt please let me know. I will be happy to answer the question.
Are you going to add Gomukhasana to your routine? Comment down below.
This article provides general information only. It would be better if you consult an expert. It is not a substitute for an expert at all.