Pose of the Week: Cow Face or Gomukhasana
This pose is suppose to look like a cow face… Let me know if you see it! I am still looking! Cow face goes along with our hip opening theme of the month perfectly because it stretches the hips, ankles, and thighs. But in a very different way from the first two poses. In this pose our legs are externally rotated and crossing over the midline of the body. In our first two poses of the month, our legs were externally rotated but moving away from the body’s midline. I have chosen to do this pose with the arm various of eagle arms. This is a non-traditional form, but I think it goes great with cow face.
Moving Into Gomukhasana:
1. Start by sitting tall on your mat with legs stretch out in front of you, Dandasana. Inhale, sit up taller and exhale navel to spine.
2. Slide your right foot underneath your left leg towards your left hip, then slide your left foot towards your right hip.
3. At this point, heels should be close to hips, and left knee is stacked on top of the right knee. Take a breath here, and begin to settle into the position. As needed, you can shift your feet out farther from your hips or keep them in close.
4. Eagle arms: With right thumb pointing up, reach the right arm underneath the left arm. Weave your right arm around the left so that your right fingers reach into the left palm. You can press your fingers into the left palm or hook them around your left thumb. Whatever feels comfortable!
5. Once in position, inhale reaching your hands up towards the sky increasing the stretch across your upper back. Once you have reached your hands up to their peak exhale.
6. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute or 5 to 10 breaths.
7. Slowly, unwind your arms and uncross your legs.
8.Repeat for the opposite side holding for the same length of time.
Progression: To enhance this position, walk your feet farther away from your hips with toes pointed towards the front of your mat (refer to picture at top of page). A second option is to fold forward once in cow face with eagle arms.
Modifications: If you are not able to stack your knees on top of one another, sit on a block, bolster, or rolled up towel. I do not recommend this pose if you have neck, shoulder, hip, or knee pain.
I hope you enjoy the pose of the week!
– Lauren 🙂