Cow Face Pose

Definition - What does Cow Face Pose mean?

Cow face pose is an intermediate seated yoga pose that deeply opens the hips and knee joints. It also stimulates digestion, elimination and the reproductive system.

To enter this pose, start in a seated position with legs extended (dandasana). Then bend the knees so that they stack on top of each other. The feet should rest on the floor on the outside of the hips. The body's weight should be evenly distributed on both sitting bones. The arms stretch behind the back and bend at the elbows so the hands clasp near the middle of the spine. To deepen the pose, the practitioner can lean forward and lay the front torso down on the inner top thigh. This pose is then repeated on the opposite side.

Cow face pose may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, gomukhasana.

Yogapedia explains Cow Face Pose

Cow face pose stretches the hips, shoulders, ankles, thighs, armpits, triceps and chest. It simultaneously stretches the top and bottom of both sides of the body, helping correct posture and returning balance to the mind, body and spirit.

The pose is named after the image it creates from the body - that of a cow's face. The crossed legs represent the cow’s snout and mouth and the arms are the cow’s ears. The torso makes the cow’s nose.

This pose should not be practiced by people with shoulder, knee or hip injuries. If the hips are very tight, it is recommended to support them with a blanket or a pillow. Lifting the hips above the level of the knees will reduce stress and discomfort in the hips, knees and back. If it is not possible to clasp the hands behind the back, it is recommended to use a strap to ease the strain.

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