The Yoga Tutor

Gomukhasana - The Cow Face Pose

[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 494 ]

Gomukha Asana. In Sanskrit, go means "cow," and mukha, in this case, refers to the "face." Thus, gomukhasana is known as the "cow-face pose," because in some abstract way it is said that there is a resemblance to such.


  • Take up a position sitting directly on top of the left heel.
  • Cross the right leg overtop of the left and draw the right heel up against the left hip.
  • Raise the left arm overhead, bend it at the elbow and place the palm flat upon the upper back.
  • Reach around behind with the right hand and try to clasp the hands together at the level of the shoulder-blades.
  • Again, keep the spine straight and “sit tall.”
  • Turn your head and neck and look up towards the left elbow.
  • Hold this position for some time, breathing in a full yet relaxed manner.
  • Slowly come out of the position, and repeat in mirror fashion on the other side.

Effects and Benefits

This position helps to expand the chest and thorax, by the action of sitting tall and breathing deeply. This chest-expansion is augmented even further in the gomukha asana with the arm raised high and the head turned.

In this pose the elasticity of the spine is improved and relief found for stress and tension in the back, neck, arms and shoulders. By impeding the blood flow to the lower extremities, greater circulation to the upper torso is stimulated, which benefits all the organs. Both the pituitary and pineal glands are stimulated in this position as well.


The contents of this web page are intended for informational purposes only. One should not engage in any yoga practices based solely upon the directions given on this web page or any other page of this web site. Anyone atempting to perform any of the yoga exercises introduced on this website assumes full responsibility and does so at their own risk.

NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.

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