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Gomukhasana: Meaning, Steps, and Benefits

Gomukhasana: Meaning, Steps, and Benefits

Introduction

Gomukhasana is an ancient yoga pose. It is a seated pose used as an exercise. This pose has become immensely popular because of its multiple health benefits. Gomukhasana is also used for meditation, but very rarely. This pose has been practised traditionally for more than two thousand years.

Pose NameGomukhasana
Sanskrit Nameगोमुखासन
IASTGomukhāsana
English NameCow Face Pose
LevelBasic
OriginAncient,
Classic Yoga Texts
GroupGomukhasana
TypeSeated Pose

Gomukhasana Meaning

The term Gomukhasana is the combination of three Sanskrit words: Go, Mukha, and Asana. Go means cow. Mukha means face and Asana means Pose. Hence it means Cow Face Pose.

On perfect performance, the pose looks like the face of a cow, especially the crossed legs look like the mouth of a cow. This is why this posture is called as Cow Face Pose.

Gomukhasana step-by-step procedure

Safety and Precautions

In Cow Face Pose, the muscles around the knees are stretched. Hence those who are having ailments in knee should avoid this posture.

If you have any injury or disorder of shoulder or neck or back, you should avoid Cow Face Pose.

Gomukhasana Preparatory Poses

To learn easily and to get perfection in this pose, one should practice the following preparatory poses.

Gomukhasana steps

  1. Sit with your legs stretched out
  2. Bend the left leg and bring the foot under the right hip
  3. Bend the right leg over left leg and draw it towards the left hip
  4. Keep the right knee on the left one
  5. Without raising, bend the left hand behind and bring the palm up
  6. Raise the right hand, bend down to reach the left palm and clasp
  7. Hold it in that position and close your eyes
  8. Breath slowly. Sit in this position to the extent possible

Common Mistakes

The common mistake done by many practitioners is keeping the same knee on the top. If you have kept the right knee on the top one time, the next time you change it to the left one. Likewise you should change the hand position also.

Beginners Tips

Beginners especially those who have tight shoulders or who are obese should not overdo while clasping the palms behind the back. Rather, they may use a strap until they get perfection.

If needed, one may use a folded blanket or cushion for sit bones or knees.

Advance Pose Considerations

After getting mastery over this pose, one may attempt Baddha Gomukhasana (Bound Cow Face Pose), a harder variation than plain Cow Face Pose.

Gomukhasana Follow-up Poses

After performing the practice of Cow Face Pose, one should resort to the practice of any one of the below mentioned poses.

Gomukhasana Variations

The following poses belong to the group of Cow Face Pose.

  • Vajra Gomukhasana (Diamond Cow Face Pose)
  • Mahvajra Gomukhasana (Great Diamond Cow Face Pose)
  • Hasta Gomukhasana (Hand Cow Face Pose)
  • Baddha Gomukhasana (Bound Cow Face Pose)

Gomukhasana Benefits

The following benefits of Cow Face Pose are the reasons for its immense popularity.
  • The Pose gives flexibility to angles, knees, thigh muscles, hips, shoulder joints, arm pit, and arm joints.
  • It stretches and tones the muscles of the chest.
  • This pose enhances the renal activity.
  • It is good for Type II diabetes.
  • This posture prevents and helps in sexual disorders
  • It helps in the conditions of lower back issues like sciatica
  • This pose can be used for Meditation also
  • It activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System and helps drive out Stress and anxiety.

Thirunavukkarasu Sivasubramaniam

He has got 40 years of experience in traditional yoga philosophy and practice. He is well versed in Classical Sanskrit and Classical Tamil texts. His other area of proficiency includes Tantra and South Indian Astrology.

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