A pose to strengthen your hips and back
Gomukhasana is one of the postures of the second series of Ashtanga Yoga which aims to strengthen the hips and the back. The word “gomukha” literally means “a cow face”, which describes the position you reach when in this pose.
The Cow Face is a beautiful yoga position that opens the heart and the hips. It contains many qualities stored for a Yogi. When you perform this posture, your fingers, shoulders and legs are very relaxed and serene.
This is because this posture ensures proper blood circulation to all parts of the body. There is no stress on these parts after performing this Asana.
How to do Gomukhasana?
To perform this pose:
- Your back should be straight when you sit on the yoga mat with your legs in front of you. Your palms should be next to your hips when you stand with your feet together.
- Place your right foot under your left buttock while bending your right leg.
- Place your right knee above your left knee.
- Bend your elbow as you raise your left arm above your head.
- Bring your right arm behind your back and lock your hands at the same time.
- Take a deep breath with ujjayi and stay as long as you feel comfortable.
- Relax your arms as you breathe.
- Repeat with the other leg after uncrossing your legs.
- In Gomukhasana, you exhale and cross your legs. Inhale again, bring your arms behind you and exhale, grabbing the other arm from below.
- Each time you exhale, deepen the pose. and relax your body with an inhalation.
Benefits of Gomukhasana
The advantages of this pose are:
1) One of the best shoulder opening poses, the cow face position, when extended and bent at the back, further expands the chest. Stretching the hips, ankles, shoulders and arms in this position strengthens the surrounding muscles and joints.
2) The Gomukhasana stretch helps improve flexibility, which can benefit long-term athletes. The arms also become stronger, thanks to the muscles being worked at the same time.
It also helps with shoulder and arm flexibility. This pose encourages the back to flex, improving its flexibility. Greater portability means better flexibility.
3) This yoga pose has been shown to be beneficial for people with diabetes as it has had positive effects on kidney stimulation resulting in better functioning of the kidneys. It also helps people with diabetes by increasing the function of their kidneys.
4) Gomukhasana is both a heart opener and a hip opener. This means it helps balance your body and gives you more room in your spine. The chest area also expands with this pose, allowing for better lung function. It also creates space in the pericardium area, which sits in the center of your lungs.
Gomukhasana preparatory poses
Opening the hips and shoulders is helpful in the Cow Face Pose, so some yoga poses should be practiced in sequence to open the shoulders and hips. Some preparatory poses for Gomukhasana are as follows:
1) Sun Salutation (Sourya Namaskar)
Before performing the Gomukhasana, it is a good idea to practice the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar), as the overall movement of the body opens up the arms, shoulders and lower back. Practice ten rounds of this yoga pose while breathing deeply.
2) Baddha Konasana
In this pose, bend your legs and hold your feet. As you inhale, stretch upwards. As you exhale, bring your knees down to the floor and feel the stretch in your inner thighs and the outer thighs near your hips.
3) Dhanurasana (bow pose)
Bend your arms and legs and lie face down on the mat. Stretch the arms and legs while taking a few breaths. Bring your feet closer to your shoulders.
Inhale; grab your ankles with your hands and lift your upper body in an arc. This stretches the chest and shoulders as well as the entire leg. This is a good pose to do before practicing Gomukhasana.
The Cow Face pose can be a very useful asana to practice, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully and warm up before doing this asana.
If you prefer, you can use appropriate props to relieve pressure on your joints, but don’t do this at the expense of your alignment. This asana should be avoided if you feel excessive discomfort. Nevertheless, it is also a good idea to bend to your limits while in this asana.
Gomukhasana opens the hip flexors and stretches many other muscles that tend to be tight in most people. As such, it’s a valuable part of any yoga routine. If you’re looking for a different twist on traditional stretches, Gomukhasana might be just what you need.
Q. Have you tried the Gomukhasana pose?
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