GOMUKHASANA COW FACE POSE
This position called the cow face pose, gomukhasana is very beneficial to rebalance any imbalances that exist in the upper part of the back and the cervical. It is also useful for the chest that opens and the accumulated stress in the shoulders and neck decreases, it actually favours the opening of the chest, lengthens ankles, also, thighs, shoulders, armpits and triceps and extends the large dorsal.
The word in Sanskrit Gomukhasana literally means “Cow face pose”. The diphthong “Go” is the etymological root of the English word “cow”, precisely. Mukha is then translated with “nose”. In the “Hatha Yoga Pradipika”, one of the main texts of yogica tradition, only 15 asanas are described and Gomukhasana is among these. In the “Gheranda Samhita”, a manual of the end of the XVII century 32 are cited and here too there is this position, therefore it is certainly important.
Let us see how to carry out gomukhasana, cow face pose:
- Start from Dandasana, i.e. the staff position with your legs stretched out in front and your arms put on the sides of your body.
- Bend both knees bringing them towards the chest and leaving that your feet are resting on the ground.
- At this point bring the left foot under the right side, slide it towards the outside and position it next to the right hip.
- Subsequently bring the right knee directly above the left one by putting the foot next to the left hip. If you are unable to keep your back straight, it is better to sit on a yoga block or cushion, in order to maintain the natural curve of the back.
- Gently move the weight of your body towards the right and towards the left until you are comfortable. Both the buttock cheeks should touch the ground.
- Straighten your right arm laterally with your palm facing the ground.
- Slowly rotate inwards and then bend the elbow, bringing the arm on the lumbar area.
- At this point it is important to move the right shoulder downwards and backwards. Only after you have done this you can fold further your elbow and bring the forearm exactly above the spine between the shoulder blades.
- Take the other arm and stretch it upwards with the palm facing forward, and then bend the elbow bringing your hand on your spine to join with the other (if you do not manage to join hands you can use a yoga elastic band). During the flexing of the elbow, it is important that with the shoulder you do the same movement previously made with the other, i.e. should be brought backwards and downwards. This arm should be right next to the left side of the head.
- At this point you tend your shoulder blades against the dorsal, open the chest, hold the neck erected and look forward.
- Stay in this position from thirty to sixty seconds breathing deeply.
- Finally unjoin your hands, straighten your legs and do everything by inverting the position of the arms and legs.
Also read how to carry out SUPTA MATSYENDRASANA