Gomukhasana (Cow Face)
The word “GO” in Sanskrit means cow. And Mukha means face. Therefore in this asana the parted thighs resemble to the cows lips and the arms placed up and down resemble to cow’s ears. Therefore it is known as the Gomukhasana. This asana thus can be performed as follows;
- Sit in Dandasana or the staff pose.
- Now bending your knees place your feet on the floor.
- Now slide your left foot under the right knee to the outside of the right hip. Then cross your right leg over the left placing the right knee over the top of the left and bring the right foot to the outside of the left hip.
- Breathe in or inhale stretching your right arm straight out to the right, parallel to the floor. Rotating your right arm inwardly, with the thumb turning first towards the floor, then pointing towards the floor and then pointing towards the wall behind you with your palm facing the ceiling.
- This movement shall roll your right shoulder slightly up and forwards.
- Now fully breathing out sweep the arm behind your torso tucking the forearm in the hollow of your back parallel to the waist with right elbow against the right side of the torso. Now work the forearm up your back until it is parallel to your spine, and the back of your hands is in between the shoulder blades.
- Breathing in stretch your left arm straight forwards pointing towards the opposite wall, parallel to the floor.
- Turn your palm stretching the arm straight up towards the ceiling.
- Lifting your arm up and bending the elbow reach down for the right hand. And hook up the right and left fingers.
- When hooked together lift the left elbow towards the ceiling descending the right elbow towards the floor.
- Maintain this posture for about a minute.
- Then release the arms and uncross the legs and repeat with the arms and legs reversed for the same duration of time.
The benefits of this asana are;
- Brings about the stretching of the ankles, hips, thighs, shoulders, armpits, triceps, and the chest.
- Also increases the flexibility of the arms and the shoulders.
- Improves breathing.
- And tones up your back.
- Even helps in relieving the pain in the hips and the lower extremities.
- Helps in the straightening of the spine thus bringing about the improvement in the posture.
- Is also very useful in arthritis and dry piles.
- Beneficial in various respiratory problems since it brings about the exercise of the lungs.
- Decreases the occurrence of cramps and sprains.
- Aids in treating various digestive problems.
- Relieves the tension in the hips and buttocks.
- Increases the blood flow in torso.
- Helps in the reduction of fat on thighs and hips.
Precautionary measures that are to be followed while performing this asana are:
- One must remember that which ever leg is on the top the same side arm must be lower.
- Should not be practiced by individuals suffering from serious neck or shoulder problems.
- Those suffering with frozen shoulder should not practice it.
- Individuals suffering from any kinds of heart ailments or any severe blood pressure should not hold breathe for a longer duration.