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Yoga Basics: your guide to the practice of yoga
Seated Yoga Poses arrow Seated Hip Openers arrow cow face pose
Gomukhasana
Level of Difficutly: Intermediate
Print

Instructions

1. Start on your hands and knees in table position, then cross the right leg in front of the left, and walk both ankles out to the side walls. Slowly walk the hands to the tops of the feet or ankles.

2. Use your arms to support you as you slowly lower the hips down to the floor or to your heels.

3. Reach your left fingers between the shoulder blades, and reach your right hand around the back to grasp the left fingers. Gently pull the arms towards each other. Stay here or exhale and lower the forehead to the knees or all the way to the floor.

4. Breathe deeply and hold 3-8 breaths.

5. To release: Release the arms and slowly inhale the head and torso up. Walk the hands forward coming back into the table position.

6. Repeat other side.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Cow Face pose deeply opens hips and knee joints and stimulates digestion, elimination and the reproductive system.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic knee or hip injury or inflammation.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Place a cushion or folded blanket under the hips and/or on top of the knees.

Variations: The arms can be placed in front of you, on the floor or on the knees to support yourself as you round forward, or the hands can be placed behind the back in reverse prayer position.

Vinyasa

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Table, Down Dog.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Table, Up Boat, Ardha Matsyendrasana B.