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Cow Head Pose (Gomukhasana)

With Dr Kiki Morriss

This pose can help bring calm and focus to the mind, as well as provide a wonderful stretch to both upper and lower parts of the body

Cow Head Pose is an asymmetrical position in which your legs resemble the mouth of a cow and your arms look like the ears, one up and one down.

The benefits of this pose:

  • Stretches your ankles, hips and thighs.
  • Stretches your shoulders, arms and chest.
  • Focuses and calms your mind.

Variation:

  • On an exhalation, fold forwards and rest the front of your upper body on your inner top thigh. Stay in the position for a few breaths. Lift up on an inhalation. Repeat on the other side.

Assisting:

  • Ask the person you are assisting to come into Cow Head pose with their left arm lifted.
  • Place your left hand on the back of their upper left arm.
  • l Gently pull it back and up as you press your right hand forwards against their left shoulder blade.
  • This will increase the stretch in the back of their top arm.

Cautions and modifications:

  • If your fingers don’t touch behind your back, use a belt to make the connection.
  • If you are having difficulty sitting evenly, try placing a folded blanket on your heels and another one under them.

PREPARATION FOR COW HEAD POSE

  • Start in Staff Pose.

COMING INTO THE POSE – LEGS

  • Bend your right leg and bring your foot under your left thigh towards your left buttock.
  • Turn your right foot to face backwards.
  • Bend forwards, press your hands on the ground and raise your hips.
  • Bend your left leg over your right leg.
  • Place your left foot behind your right thigh.

CROSS YOUR THIGHS

  • Cross your thighs well.
  • Roll your left thigh from the outside in.
  • Take your left foot back.

POSITION YOUR FEET

  • Have the tops of your feet on the ground and sit on your heels.
  • Have your toes pointing backwards.
Cow Head Pose – Yoga Anatomy

SIT UPRIGHT

  • Face forwards and lift your torso upwards.
  • Avoid leaning to one side.
  • Keep your upper body balanced and centred.

COMING INTO THE POSE – ARMS

  • Bend your left elbow behind your back.
  • Internally rotate your left shoulder.
  • Take the back of your left hand towards the place between your shoulder blades.
  • Reach your right arm up and bend your elbow.
  • Bring your right fingers towards your left fingers.
  • Firmly grip your fingers or hands.
Cow Head Pose – Yoga Anatomy
Cow Head Pose – Yoga Anatomy

FOCUS YOUR GAZE

  • Your dristi (focal point) is at a fixed point straight ahead of you. Keep your gaze soft.
  • Alternatively you can close your eyes, with your eyelids light.

SHOULDERS AND ARMS

  • Open your right armpit.
  • Press your shoulder blades inwards.

BREATHING IN THE POSE

  • Take 10 steady breaths in the pose.

AFTER THE POSE

  • Return to Staff pose.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Doctor Kiki Morriss is a medical doctor, yoga teacher, yoga therapist and founder of Primrose Hill Yoga, where she teaches adults, children and families. Visit: primrosehillyoga.com or instagram.com/kiki.yoga