Fitness Magazine

In Praise of Gomukhasana (Cow-Face Pose)

By Ninazolotow @Yoga4HealthyAge
by Nina
In Praise of Gomukhasana (Cow-Face Pose)
Because this is turning out to be the almost all-Nina week (don’t worry, all the other regulars will be back soon), I thought today I’d just share with you some more of the beautiful artwork from the current exhibit Yoga: The Art of Transformation at the Smithsonian Museum.
As I was looking through the book, I noticed something surprising to me. While most of the yoga poses we currently do in our yoga classes and in our home practices were developed during the twentieth century (see Authentic Yoga), there are several poses—mostly seated poses—that are quite old. The artwork in this exhibit that portrays yogis in action allows us to see which ones they were. Of course, there are many examples of the classic seated position that we all picture from the past, Lotus pose (Padmasana. But I also noticed how many of these works of art portrayed yogis in a seated position similar to Cow-Face pose (Gomukhasana) legs.
In Praise of Gomukhasana (Cow-Face Pose)It just happens that this is a pose I practice frequently myself (though not as a meditation pose) because I received advice that stretching my piriformis muscle would help me regain some mobility in my right hip, and Cow-Face pose is one of the best poses for stretching this muscle. And, as it turned out, practicing this pose on a regular basis did increase my hip mobility (see How to Stretch ).
In Praise of Gomukhasana (Cow-Face Pose)Baxter recommends this pose for sciatica and other back problems (see I think I have sciatica). Shari recommends stretching your piriformis muscle to keep your sacrum happy and healthy. And just yesterday I watched a very nice video 3 Poses to Soothe Sciatica from Yoga International, where the teacher introduces a half version of the pose as one of three sciatica relief poses.
So it was quite amazing for me to see what a common seated poses this for ancient yoga practitioners. And as we haven’t yet taken photographs of one of us doing the pose, I’m so pleased to have some visual examples to show you.
In Praise of Gomukhasana (Cow-Face Pose)While most of these paintings show the practitioner sitting on the heel of the bottom foot, many of us who aren’t used to this pose, may find this uncomfortable. In that case, sit with your hips on a prop (as in the video), such as a folded blanket, and your bottom foot alongside your hip.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog
By Amber Land
posted on 26 February at 06:06

Hi, where did you get these glorious images and can you post them in a larger format - not enormous, maybe 450kb? Thanks, [email protected]