Gomukhasana: Discover the Healing Power of Gomukhasana

Gomukhasana, also known as the Cow Face Pose, is a yoga asana that offers numerous benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. With its unique shape resembling the face of a cow, this pose provides a deep stretch to the hips, shoulders, and arms, while promoting relaxation and inner balance. In this  detailed article you will learn all of the different aspects of gomukhasana, like its history of growth and development, how you do it, its importance in yoga, its advantages, and how to incorporate it into your regular yoga practise. Keep reading to learn how to perfect this cow face. Pose for Strength and Flexibility

What is Gomukhasana?

Gomukhasana is a seated yoga pose that involves interlocking the hands behind the back with one arm reaching over the shoulder and the other arm reaching behind the back. This posture resembles the face of a cow, hence the name “Cow Face Pose.” It is an intermediate-level asana that requires flexibility in the hips, shoulders, and arms.

History and Origin

Gomukhasana has its roots in ancient yogic texts and is considered to be an important pose in traditional Hatha Yoga. In India, it has been practiced for many centuries and is known for its ability to balance and activate the different energy level in our body.  The pose is often associated with Hindu mythology, where cows are revered as sacred animals symbolizing fertility, abundance, and nourishment.

Importance of Gomukhasana in Yoga Practice

In yoga, this gomukhasana is one the highly considered, due to its ability to open the hips, stretch the shoulders, and release tension in the upper body. It is often used as a preparatory pose for more advanced asanas that require deep hip and shoulder flexibility. Additionally, Gomukhasana helps in cultivating mindfulness and concentration, making it an integral part of a holistic yoga practice.

Gomukhasana is one of the best ways to relax and unwind. It is the ideal combination of mental and physical practice for reducing heart rate and blood pressure, two of stress’s most common symptoms.

It stretches the muscles in the back to get rid of fatigue, thus it may help you to get relief from back pain. This position also helps to stretch the hamstring and gluteal muscles, it may also help you to ease leg cramps by making the legs feel more relaxed. While performing this yoga pose it stretches the shoulders, upper arms, chest, hips, and thighs, thus it may help to make our body more flexible.

How to Perform Gomukhasana ?

To practice Gomukhasana, follow these step-by-step instructions:

How to Perform Gomukhasana

  1. Sit comfortably on the floor or on a yoga mat with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. By Keeping hip-width apart, bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor.
  3. Slide your left foot under your right leg, placing it beside your right hip.
  4. Cross your right leg over your left, bringing your right foot to the left side of your left hip.
  5. Ensure that both sit bones are firmly grounded on the floor.
  6. Inhale and extend your left arm overhead, reaching towards the ceiling.
  7. Exhale and bend your left elbow, bringing your left hand behind your head and down towards the centre of your upper back.
  8. Simultaneously, reach your right arm out to the right side, palm facing behind you.
  9. Bend your right elbow and bring your right hand up between your shoulder blades, reaching towards the centre of your upper back.
  10. Gently try to interlock your fingers or use a strap or towel if your hands don’t meet.
  11. Maintain an upright posture, lengthening through the spine, and keeping the chest lifted.
  12. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute while maintaining steady and relaxed breathing.
  13. Release the pose by slowly releasing the grip of your hands and unfolding your legs.
  14. Repeat the same steps on the opposite side, crossing your left leg over your right and interlocking the hands in the opposite position.

Modifications and Variations

While performing this yoga practice and if you think it is not easy  to interlock your fingers behind your back or if you find difficult to stack your knees directly on top of each other, you can make some  adjustments accordingly to suit your level of flexibility. Here are a few variations of Gomukhasana.

Modified Gomukhasana: Sit on a folded blanket or cushion to elevate your hips if your knees don’t comfortably stack on top of each other.

Strap Variation: If you cannot reach your hands behind your back, hold a strap with both hands and gradually work towards bringing your hands closer over time.

One-Arm Gomukhasana: If interlocking both hands is not accessible, you can focus on one arm at a time. Reach one arm behind your head and use the opposite arm to gently assist in stretching.

Necessary Precautions to Be Taken.

While Gomukhasana offers many benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. Consider the following precautions and contraindications before practicing this pose:

  1. Avoid Gomukhasana if you have a current or recent shoulder or knee injury.
  2. If you have limited flexibility in the hips or shoulders, approach the pose with caution and make necessary modifications.
  3. If you experience any pain or discomfort, release the pose immediately and consult a qualified yoga instructor or healthcare professional.
  4. Pregnant individuals should avoid deep twists and consult their healthcare provider before practicing Gomukhasana.
  5. Listening to your body and respecting its limitations are essential. If you’re unsure about practicing Gomukhasana, it’s always best to seek guidance from a certified yoga teacher.

Benefits of Gomukhasana

Gomukhasana offers a wide range of benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. Regular practice of this pose can have the following positive effects:

Benefits of Gomukhasana

Physical Benefits

  1. Hip opener: Gomukhasana deeply stretches the hips, particularly the outer hips and glutes, helping to increase flexibility and relieve tension in the hip joints.
  2. Shoulder opener: The pose stretches the shoulders, chest, and upper back, releasing tightness and improving posture.
  3. Relieves back pain: Gomukhasana helps alleviate lower back pain by strengthening the muscles around the spine and improving spinal alignment.
  4. Enhances digestion: The gentle compression on the abdominal organs stimulates digestion and can help relieve digestive issues such as bloating and constipation. Improves posture: Regular practice of Gomukhasana helps to improve overall posture by opening the chest and shoulders, counteracting the effects of hunching and slouching.

Mental and Emotional Benefits

  1. Stress reduction: Gomukhasana promotes relaxation and helps to calm the mind, reducing stress and anxiety.
  2. Emotional balance: The deep stretch in Gomukhasana releases tension and stagnant energy, promoting emotional balance and a sense of inner calm.
  3. Concentration and focus: The focus required to maintain the pose enhances concentration and trains the mind to stay present in the moment.

Energetic Benefits

  1. Balances energy channels: Gomukhasana activates the nadis, or energy channels, in the body, helping to balance the flow of prana (life force energy) and promoting overall vitality.
  2. Opens the heart center: The pose stimulates the Anahata (heart) chakra, facilitating the expression of love, compassion, and empathy.

Gomukhasana for Specific Conditions

This yoga pose can be particularly beneficial for specific conditions or areas of the body. Here’s how it can help:

Back Pain :In this yoga pose the practitioner stretches the muscles of the back, including the lower back and the muscles along the spine. This helps to relieve tension and discomfort, making it beneficial for individuals with mild to moderate back pain.

Shoulder and Neck Tension: The shoulder-opening aspect of this yoga pose targets the muscles in the shoulders, upper back, and neck. This yoga practice is specially very helpful to those who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or working on computers, doing regular practice can help relieve tension and stiffness in these areas

Respiratory Conditions: The expansion of the chest and improved posture in Gomukhasana can support respiratory health. It helps to open the chest, allowing for deeper and more efficient breathing. Regular practice may also provide individual to get relief from in asthma, bronchitis, or other respiratory conditions.

Stress and Anxiety: This yoga pose encourages relaxation and helps to calm the mind. It helps in stress and anxiety relief, by activating the body’s relaxation tissues and strengthening the parasympathetic nervous system.

Gomukhasana and Mindfulness : This yoga pose offers an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness and deepen the mind-body connection. Here’s how it can enhance your mindfulness practice:

Mind-Body Connection : As you settle into yoga pose, bring awareness to the sensations in your body. Notice the stretch in your hips, the opening of your shoulders, and the gentle lengthening of your spine. By focusing on the physical experience, you can deepen your mind-body connection.

Breath Awareness: Pay attention to your breath as you hold Gomukhasana. Observe the natural rhythm of your breath and allow it to guide your movements. Deep, conscious breathing can help you stay present and enhance the calming effects of the pose.

Cultivating focus and concentration: Gomukhasana requires concentration to maintain balance and proper alignment. By directing your attention to the sensations and alignment of your body, you cultivate focus and strengthen your ability to concentrate both on and off the yoga mat.

Incorporating Gomukhasana into a Yoga Routine

To integrate Gomukhasana into your yoga practice, consider the following tips:

Warm-Up Exercises: Before attempting Gomukhasana, warm up your body with gentle stretches and movements. Focus on opening the hips, shoulders, and upper back to prepare the relevant areas for the pose.

Sequencing and Combining With Other Asanas: Gomukhasana can be incorporated into your yoga routine in various ways. Here are a few suggestions:

Preparatory Poses: Include hip-opening poses like Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) and Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose) to warm up the hips before practicing Gomukhasana.

Shoulder Stretches: Combine Gomukhasana with other shoulder stretches such as Garudasana (Eagle Pose) or Gomukhasana arms (stretching one arm over the shoulder and the other arm behind the back) to further release tension in the shoulders.

Seated Forward Folds: Follow Gomukhasana with seated forward folds like Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) to counterbalance the hip opening with a gentle stretch for the hamstrings and lower back.

Duration and Frequency of Practice: Practice Gomukhasana for a duration that feels comfortable for your body. Initially begin by remaining in this position for thirty seconds, and as you become more comfortable while doing this practice, gradually extend it to one minute or longer. Aim to practice Gomukhasana at least three times a week to experience its benefits. However, listen to your body and adjust the frequency based on your individual needs and limitations.


Gomukhasana, the Cow Face Pose, is a powerful asana that offers a multitude of benefits for both the body and the mind. You can experience a well-balanced improved posture, reduce stress, a deeper sense of mindfulness, and increased hip and shoulder flexibility by incorporating this yoga pose into your daily yoga practice routine. Remember to approach the pose with patience, making necessary modifications and adjustments to suit your individual needs. Embrace the Cow Face Pose and discover the transformative effects it can have on your overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Question

Is Gomukhasana suitable for beginners?

Yes, Gomukhasana can be practiced by beginners. However, it may require modifications and patience to gradually develop the necessary flexibility.

Can Gomukhasana help with sciatica pain?

Gomukhasana can help alleviate sciatica pain by gently stretching the muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve. Before starting to practise this yoga pose it is necessary to take advice if you are undergoing any physical issues treatment and it should be perform under the supervision of a certified yoga teacher.

Can pregnant women practice Gomukhasana?

Pregnant women should approach Gomukhasana with caution and seek guidance from a prenatal yoga instructor. Modifying the pose or avoiding it altogether may be necessary, depending on individual circumstances.

How does Gomukhasana benefit the mind?

Gomukhasana promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and enhances concentration, making it beneficial for calming the mind and cultivating mindfulness.

Can Gomukhasana be practiced by individuals with shoulder injuries?

Individuals with shoulder injuries should exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional or experienced yoga instructor before attempting Gomukhasana. Modifications or alternative poses may be recommended.

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