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Gomukhasana is a highly effective form of asana that can help in increasing the strength and flexibility of different parts of your body. Also known as Cow face Pose due to the way the body looks like while performing this pose, it can strengthen and strengthen the shoulders, hips, thorax, thighs, ankles, Axilla and Triceps brachii muscle. Gomukhasana is associated with Hatha yoga and Vinyasa yoga. Since it is a basic form of the pose, it can be practiced by both beginning and advanced practitioners.

Gomukhasana Gomukhasana


Steps of Gomukhasana

Follow the Gomukhasana steps described below to have the maximum health benefits associated with this posture.

  • Start the asana by sitting cross-legged on the surface of the floor
  • Bring the right foot over the left thigh; slide your thigh as close as you can to left hip
  • Bring the left ankle around the side of the right hip. Make sure that first knee is placed over the other

  • Gently slide your both feet far behind your hip area while making sure that you are comfortable in this position

  • Maintain your spine in a straight and vertical position while you keep your head facing forward
  • Raise the right arm and gently bring it over the shoulder
  • Now wrap the left arm around your back and try to grasp the left hand with your right hand behind your back. Clasp the fingers of both hands together.

  • Stay in this pose for around 10 to 12 breaths.
  • Next, release your hands and stretch both your legs straight; bounce your knees a couple of times.
  • Once you are done, repeat this asana by using your opposite limbs
  • Finally, relax your body by sitting in a nice and comfortable cross-legged posture.

Step images of Gomukhasana Step images of Gomukhasana

Preparatory Poses

The following are the preparatory poses that should be practiced before performing Gomukhasana.

  • Virasana
  • Baddha Konasana
  • Supta Baddha Konasana
  • Supta Virasana
  • Upavistha Konasana
  • Supta Padangusthasana

Follow up poses

These are the follow-up poses that must be practiced after performing Gomukhasana.

  • Ardha Matsyendrasana
  • Garudasana
  • Bharadvajasana
  • Padmasana
  • Marichyasana
  • Upavistha Konasana
  • Paschimottanasana

Tips for performing Gomukhasana

As a beginner, you might find it difficult to place your sitting bones evenly on the surface of the ground. This can make it difficult for you to keep your knees properly over each other rather difficult. You must know that your spine cannot properly extend itself when your pelvis remains tilted. In such cases, you can use a bolster or blanket for supporting and lifting your sitting bones.

For those who have tight shoulders, it can be difficult for you to effectively clasp your fingers right behind your back. To help yourself in this regard, you can use a strap that makes this process a lot easier. Start performing the pose by having a strap draped evenly over the shoulder of your lower arm. Now slide lower arm to your back and then grip the strap’s free end with your upper arm. Make sure that you try and slide your other arm as far as possible towards the top of your back.

If you are obese or fat, it can be difficult for you to perform this exercise properly. However, there is nothing to fret as you can take your time while trying to master the pose. Initially, you do not have to try to clasp your fingers; all you have to accomplish is take the hands backward. You should also make an attempt to stretch your legs and cross one over another. Gradually with time, you shall be able to do this pose in the right manner as you boost your body’s flexibility and stretching capacity.

The best time to practice this asana is during the early hours of the morning. Make sure that your bowels are empty before you try and perform this asana.

The science of Gomukhasana

Gomukhasana involves stimulation of the hips and shoulders. Both these areas are known for storing chronic pain and tension. The asana enhances the diverse range of motions associated with the shoulder joints. If you are having tight shoulders, you should perform this asana on a regular basis. Within a few months, you will find that your shoulders have loosened out. Therefore it can be said that Gomukhasana is extremely therapeutic and can work great when it comes to releasing pressure.

Gomukhasana helps to relax the muscles completely and imparts a strong sense of calm. As you practice this pose, you will find that the tension you feel in your muscle-tendon joints tends to get escalated. Such tension triggers a response from the spinal cord which encourages these muscles to relax. This stretching effect created by Gomukhasana leads to the release of powerful endorphins which induce a sense of relaxation within the whole body and mind. Controlled studies have been carried to evaluate the health benefits of Gomukhasana which have revealed that it can help in enhancing cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility.

Benefits of Gomukhasana

Here are some of the most important benefits of practicing Gomukhasana.

  • Gomukhasana can relieve your anxiety and stress and make you a better, healthy person. The rhythmic breathing patterns that are associated with this asana can offer you great mental and emotional benefits.

  • This asana helps to stimulate the kidneys and improve their functioning. This can be particularly beneficial for diabetic patients.

  • Gomukhasana provides greater elasticity to different parts of the body, such as the arms, shoulders, chest, glutes, trapezius, quadriceps and hamstrings. Better mobility leads to better flexibility which ensures effective stretching of these body parts.

  • Sciatica is a condition that is characterized by radiating pain around the lower back region, calves, and thighs. Practicing Gomukhasana on a regular basis can be helpful in reducing sciatica pain.

  • If you have got stiff shoulders that practicing this yogic pose is a must as it can ease such stiffness from shoulders, thereby making them more flexible.

  • Gomukhasana can prove to be extremely helpful in curing sexual ailments by stimulating blood flow and easing stiffness from lower parts of the body. It also helps in relieving stress.

  • This asana can really work well when it comes to cuing hydrocele. A hydrocele is a type of health condition wherein the testicles get filled with fluid which leads to swelling of the scrotum. Practicing Gomukhasana regularly can help in managing the signs and symptoms of hydrocele.

  • Gomukhasana can help in stretching your thighs, hips, shoulders, chest, anterior deltoids, triceps and lats. This means that Gomukhasana tones all the major muscles of the body.

  • This is a classic yogic posture that offers powerful deep abductor stretch that leads to complete relaxation of the hip muscles.

  • Performing Gomukhasana on a regular basis can help the practitioner to attain the perfect posture. This asana can stimulate the spine, chest muscles and shoulders for improving the body’s natural posture.

Precautions and contraindications associated with Gomukhasana

Here are some of the precautions that you need to follow when you are looking to perform Gomukhasana.

  • If you are suffering from neck, shoulder and/or knee pains, you must not practice this asana.
  • Individuals who often suffer from a backache must consult a medical expert prior to performing this asana.

  • Since this asana can lead to injuries if not done properly, it should only be done under the direct supervision of some certified yoga instructor.

  • If you are suffering from sciatica, using props right under the hips can actually aggravate the condition.

  • Pregnant women must not fold forward for the first trimester.
  • While practicing the Gomukhasana you must be very clear about your hand placement and make sure that the leg you put on the top, you should put the arm of the same side in the lower position.

Practicing Gomukhasana is easy since it is one of the simplest forms of asana. However, it offers a wide range of benefits for the practitioner. So start performing this asana today to improve the strength and flexibility of your body and its inner parts.


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