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Gomukhasana to Reduce Stress

This asana gets its name from three Sanskrit words:

  • ‘Go’, which means cow
  • ‘Mukha’, which means face
  • ‘Asana’, which means pose

It is so named because when it’s performed, your body looks like the face of a cow. This pose benefits those with a stiff back and backache. It also stretches various parts of the body, targeting your shoulders and hips – two common sites for pain and tension.

Steps to perform the Gomukhasana:

  • Sit on the mat or floor with your legs together and stretched out in front of you.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor.
  • Then slide your left foot below your right knee, going towards the outside of your right hip.
  • Continue sitting straight as you lift your right arm over your head.
  • Now fold at the elbow so that your palm touches your upper back.
  • Bring your left hand around from your left side and try to hold your right palm.
  • Hold this position for about 20 deep breaths.
  • Repeat these steps on the other side but changing the legs and the arms.

 Things to keep in mind while doing this pose:

  • When you tuck your left foot below the right knee, try to keep both heels equidistant from your hips.
  • As your right leg is on top, tug your right heel in to get it closer to your left hip.
  • You should be sitting flat on the mat or the floor. No one side should have more weight than the other.
  • Make sure your torso is straight.
  • When you lift your arm over your head, the upper arm should touch your ear.
  • When you hold the pose, make sure your chest is lifted, and your back is straight.
  • If you cannot make your hands touch, you can use a scarf or a short belt so that both hands can hold on to it.

Benefits of the Gomukhasana:

  • It strengthens the arms, legs, knees and back.
  • It is a great pose for people with breathing problems, especially bronchitis and asthma.
  • It is helpful in sciatica.
  • This pose stimulates the kidneys.
  • Regular practice of this asana reduces anxiety and stress.

Caution

  • This asana should not be practised by those with serious neck problems or injuries.
  • Those with shoulder or knee injuries should also avoid this asana.
  • If you cannot clasp your palms, do not force it or go beyond your abilities.

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References

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  • Cow Face – Gomukhasana. Arhanta yoga.orghttps://www.arhantayoga.org/cow-face-gomukhasana/
  • Build your leg muscles with Gomukhasana (Cow-Face Posture). Woyoso.orghttp://www.woyoso.org/gomukhasana.html
  • Gomukhasana (Cow Face Posture). Sivanandaonline.org http://sivanandaonline.org/public_html/?cmd=displaysection&section_id=1261
  • Pregnancy Made Comfortable With Yoga. By Nishtha Saraswathttps://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=8122309992
  • Yoga Journal – Jun 2006 – Page 101https://books.google.co.in/books?id=9ekDAAAAMBAJ
  • Yoga Journal – Oct 2007 – Page 57 https://books.google.co.in/books?id=q-kDAAAAMBAJ

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