COW FACE POSE (GOMUKHASANA)
Here we introduce an efficient and challenging seated pose to open the hips and upper back, which is personally approved to be a great practice before going to sleep.
HOW TO COME INTO THE POSE:
1. From a seated position bend and slide the right knee directly over the left. You might come forward onto the hands and knees in order to align the knees. Then separate the feet and come back to sit between the feet. It´s important that you are fully plugged into the floor through both hips.
2. Inhale and bring the right arm up towards the sky. Exhale and bend the right elbow bringing the right hand down touching the middle of the back. You can help here drawing the elbow with the left hand.
3. Inhale and bring the left arm out to the right side, then exhale and bend the elbow and bring the left arm up the center of the back.
4. Now try to grab your fingers behind the back and draw both elbows toward the center. You should feel more stretch in the upper arm, avoiding to have pain in lower arm.
5. Make sure your spine is straight and tall and try to push your head back as if posing to a photographer. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
6. Repeat the same with opposite legs and arms. And then the same procedure for the second time (total 4 x 30 sec).
• Stretches the shoulders, back of your arms, upper back, deltoid and chest muscles
• Stretches the hips, ankles and thighs
• Opens the chest and thoracic spine
• Strengthens the spine and abdominals
• Increases bone strength with flexibility of joints in both the legs and arms
• Releases tension and
• Helps in gynecological problems, diabetes and high blood pressure
When you sit in this pose for minutes and at the same time concentrate on your breath and release of all those deep muscles, your body will overcome the negative affects of the aforementioned.
In addition, it will also improve your posture because of the intense focus on the lift of the spine.
If sitting in this posture is not possible or causes a lot of pain, then prop your hips onto a blanket or a block to allow equal and even weight on both sit bones.
If you find it difficult to cross the legs tightly, place the foot of your top leg flat on the floor (like in Marichyasana Pose), either in front of the shin or beside the thigh.
If your fingers don´t touch behind the back, you can hold a strap between your hands.
TRY TO AVOID THIS POSE IF…
• You have sciatica
• You have serious neck or shoulder problems
• You have serious knee problems
As mentioned previously, this is a key pose for opening the hips, which are the known storage depot for stress, anxiety and fear. Cow face pose is then one of the asanas to help in case of insomnia. If you practice it accordingly just before going to bed, it gives you easiness to fall asleep.
Next time you feel anxious in the nighttime, prepare some infusion with relaxing herbs (such as chamomile or lavender), practice the cow face pose, concentrate on your breath and feel yourself to soothe and relax…zzzzzzzz… Good night!