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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.