Asana of the Month: Gomukasana (Cow Face Pose)

Asana of the Month: Gomukasana (Cow Face Pose)

Each month we choose a pose to focus on in each class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons. – Asana Girl (a.k.a. Danielle Polen) 

Richard Rosen, director of the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, California, and contributor, writes the following about Gomukhasana:

“The seminal text on the physical practice of yoga, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, contains only 15 asanas. And Gomukhasana makes the cut. The Gheranda Samhita, a 17th-century text, names 32 asanas. Again, Gomukhasana is there…. [while] Gomukhasana typically causes lots of groaning from students during a yoga class, … we all should practice the pose more often. The arm position stretches the armpits and the backs of the upper arms (the triceps) and opens the chest, so it is an excellent preparation for backbends and inverted poses such as Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana, or Downward-Facing Tree Pose) or Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose). The leg position stretches the outer hips and thighs, which makes it a good warm-up for a number of poses, including standing poses and sitting twists.”

Go = cow

Mukha = face

Gomukha = one whose face resembles a cow’s; a kind of musical instrument, narrow at one end and broad at the other like the face of a cow


  • Stretches the ankles, hips and thighs, shoulders, armpits and triceps, and chest


  • Forego or modify this pose if you have any serious neck, shoulder, or knee problems

Preparatory Poses:

  • Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hands Pose)
  • Paschima Namaskarasana (Reverse Prayer Pose)
  • Virasana (Hero’s Pose)
  • Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana {Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
  • Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Song that Most Comes to Mind While Observing Others in the Posture:

DuckBlog’s  “The Nutcracker Song


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