Corpse Pose
March 31, 2015
Cow Pose
March 31, 2015

Cow Face Pose

LEVEL

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Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Gomukhasana
(go-moo-KAHS-anah)
go = cow / mukha = face

BENEFITS

  • Opens the hips
  • Stretches the triceps, latissimus dorsi, and intercostal muscles between the ribs
  • Improves external rotation of the hips
  • Opens the chest and pectorals

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Shoulder or hip pathologies
  • Knee injury

HOW TO

  1. Begin in a seated position. Bend your left knee and ground down into your mat. Draw your right knee over your left to stack the knees.
  2. Inhale, lift out of the torso, and lengthen the spine.
  3. Exhale and draw your right hand behind your back, reaching for the center of the midback.
  4. Inhale and draw your left hand over your left shoulder to reach behind the neck.
  5. Exhale and slowly inch the hands together behind your back, hooking the left and right fingers.Work toward binding the palms together.
  6. Hold this pose for up to 5-10 slow breaths.
  7. Inhale and release the arms down to the mat alongside the hips. Exhale and uncross the knees. Roll slightly back onto the sacrum and sway the knees from side to side. Repeat on the opposite side.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

  • Stack the shins one on top of the other (Fire Log pose), or take an easy seated posture.
  • Draw the hands overhead and unite the palms in prayer position. Bend the elbows to bring the palms behind the head with fingers pointed toward the mat.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Keep the upper and lower spine lifted through the torso and firm your abdominals.
  • Stack the knees by placing one on top of the other, or find legs in Fire Log pose.
  • If choosing to bind the hands, be cautious not to over stretch the shoulder joint.
  • Be cautious of your knees. Release the posture if you feel any strain in the knee joints.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Hip or knee pain/ strain
  • Over stretching the shoulder joints