Standing Cow Face Pose (Tadasana Gomukhasana): Steps, Benefits, and Contraindications

Standing Cow Face Pose (Tadasana Gomukhasana) - Sharp Muscle
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Updated: March 9, 2023

The Standing Cow Face Pose, also known as Tadasana Gomukhasana, is a mixture between Tadasana and Gomukhasana.

From a standing position, the yogi reaches one arm up and one hand down, clasping hands behind back.

In this modern modern age in which we live, there are many forward bending actions in our daily life. Due to these actions, the front chest muscles become tight and our back chest muscles become weak.

This pose strengthens the muscles on the back chest and increases flexibility in the front chest. This anatomical opening that occurs in the front chest helps to improve the physiological function of taking in oxygen, which in turn can lead to the psychological shift of increasing self-confidence and lifting mild depression.

Information

Known as:Standing Cow Face Pose, Tadasana Gomukhasana, Samasthiti Gomukhasana
Sanskrit name:ताड़ासन गौमुखासन
IAST:Tāḍāsana Gomukhāsana
Pronunciation:tah-DAH-sah-nah go-moo-KAHS-anna
Type:Standing, stretch, balancing, binds, chest opener
Level:Beginner
Focus:Shoulders, arms, legs
Total time:30 to 60 seconds
Drishti:Third eye (Bhrumadhye)
Chakra:Anahata Chakra
Indications:Respiratory System, mild depression
Counterpose:Dandasana (Staff Pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose), Ardha uttanasana (Intense Half Stretch Pose), Adho mukha svanasana (Downward-facing Dog Pose)
Preparatory poses:Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose), Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute Pose)
Follow-up poses:Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose), Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute Pose), Garudasana (Eagle Pose), Marichyasana III (Marichi’s Pose III), Padmasana (Lotus Position), Utkatasana (Fierce Pose), Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Contraindications:Heart conditions, neck, or shoulder, or wrist injuries

Meaning

Tadasana Gomukhasana

Tadasana Gomukhasana is derived from the Sanskrit name, which is made up of the words — Tada + Asana and Go + Mukha + Asana:

  1. Tada” = “mountain”
  2. Go” = “cow”
  3. Mukha” = “face”
  4. Asana” = “pose or posture”
  1. Tadasana is the fundamental posture that controls all the postures through its alignment and energetic qualities.
  2. The body posture in Gomukhasana looks like the face of a cow, the knee posture looks like a cow’s mouth and the hand posture, one up and one down, looks like a cow’s ear.
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Yoga postures are derived from elements of nature or animals. So, this pose is one such derivation of a mixture of two standing postures and an arm variation.

People of all ages are welcome to perform this yoga pose. This is for overall fitness and health. People with specific diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or scoliosis should take extra care.

This yoga pose can be done anywhere with a flat surface, in a room with good ventilation, but not exposed to sunlight.

Therefore, yoga is not just about stretching the arms and legs or twisting the body into unforgivable shapes.

It is a way of life which teaches one to be physically and mentally pure and fit.

The practitioner of yoga must be aware of the consequences of his actions, thoughts and words on the people around him. Doing good keeps you happy and mentally calm.

Benefits of Standing Cow Face Pose (Tadasana Gomukhasana)

The benefits of this yoga pose come with combine benefits of Tadasana and Gomukhasana, however the phisical and mental benefits of this yoga pose are listed below:

  1. Pysical Benefits:
    • Strengthens the arms, back, legs, and core muscles
    • Stretches the arms and shoulders
    • Opens the chest
    • Improves the posture and balance
    • Enhance the lower body strength
    • Improves the circulation and respiration
    • Boosts the energy
    • May aid increases the height
    • Improve the breathing
    • Enhances the energy level
    • Strengthen the nervous system
  2. Mental Benefits:

Instructions to Standing Cow Face Pose (Tadasana Gomukhasana)

  • Begin standing with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Bring your left arm up and bend it at the elbow, so your hand is reaching down your back.
  • Bring your right arm down and behind your back, reaching up towards your left hand. Again, you may need to adjust the position of your arms to find the right stretch for your body.
  • Clasp your hands together behind your back, if possible. If you’re not able to clasp your hands, use a strap or towel to help you reach your hands.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths, then release the pose and repeat on the other side.

Tips

The Standing Cow Face Pose is a great stretch for the hips, thighs, and shoulders. With patience, practice, and attention to your body, you can learn to do this pose safely and effectively. Remember to take it slow, use props if you need to, and focus on your breath as you hold the pose.

  • Take it slow: This is a challenging pose, so it’s important to take your time and move slowly into it. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard.
  • Use props: If you’re not able to clasp your hands together behind your back, use a strap or towel to help you reach your hands. You can also use a block under your bottom foot to help support your hips.
  • Focus on your breath: As you hold the pose, focus on your breath and try to relax your body. Take slow, deep breaths and let go of any tension or stress in your body.
  • Modify the pose: If you’re not able to cross your legs, you can modify the pose by simply bringing your arms behind your back and clasping your hands together. You can also modify the pose by standing next to a wall or using a chair for support if you need it.
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Modification and variation

Modification and variation options for the Standing Cow Face Pose can help you to tailor the pose to your individual needs and abilities. They can also provide additional benefits for different areas of the body, allowing you to deepen your practice and safely explore new variations.

Modification – Chair variation:

If you have difficulty with balance or flexibility, you can modify the Standing Cow Face Pose by using a chair for support.

This modification can help to improve your balance and provide support for your hips and thighs. It also allows you to focus on deepening the stretch in your shoulders and chest without putting pressure on your knees or hips.

How to modify: Stand behind a chair and place your right foot on the chair seat, with your knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Cross your left leg over your right leg and bend forward, resting your forearms on the chair back. Hold the pose for a few breaths, then switch sides.

Variation – Cow Face Pose with Eagle Arms

Another variation of the Standing Cow Face Pose is to incorporate Eagle Arms, which can help to deepen the stretch in the shoulders and upper back.

This variation can help to stretch the upper back and shoulders while also engaging the muscles of the arms and chest. It can also improve your posture and relieve tension in the neck and shoulders.

How to vary: Start in the Standing Cow Face Pose and bring your arms in front of you. Cross your right arm over your left arm and bring your palms together. Lift your elbows and draw your shoulders down your back. Hold the pose for a few breaths, then switch sides.

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Modification – Seated variation

If standing is difficult for you, you can modify the Standing Cow Face Pose by doing a seated variation.

This modification can help to stretch the hips and thighs while also engaging the muscles of the shoulders and upper back. It can also be a gentle option for those with limited mobility or balance issues.

How to modify: Sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Cross your right leg over your left leg and place your right foot on the ground next to your left knee. Bend your left leg and place your left foot on the ground next to your right hip. Bring your left arm behind your back and your right arm over your head. Clasp your hands together, or use a strap or towel to help reach your hands. Hold the pose for a few breaths, then switch sides.

Precautions and contraindications

It’s essential to consider any pre-existing injuries or conditions before practicing the Standing Cow Face Pose. By taking precautions and modifying the pose as needed, you can help to prevent injury and safely explore the benefits of the pose. The precautions and contraindications keep in mind when practicing this yoga pose, which are explained below:

Knee injuries

Someone with a knee injury should approach the Standing Cow Face Pose with caution or avoid it altogether.

The pose requires crossing one leg over the other, which can put strain on the knees. If you have a knee injury, this movement can exacerbate the injury or cause additional pain and discomfort.

You can use props such as a block or bolster, to modify the pose, to support your knees or avoid crossing your legs altogether. You can also consult with a qualified yoga teacher or healthcare provider for guidance on modifications that are safe for your individual needs.

Hip injuries

If you have a hip injury or experience hip pain, you should approach the Standing Cow Face Pose with caution or avoid it altogether.

The pose requires a deep stretch of the hips, which can put strain on the hip joint. If you have a hip injury or experience hip pain, this movement can exacerbate the injury or cause additional pain and discomfort.

To modify the pose, you can use props such as a block or bolster to support your hips or avoid crossing your legs altogether. You can also consult with a qualified yoga teacher or healthcare provider for guidance on modifications that are safe for your individual needs.

Shoulder injuries

Individuals have a shoulder injury or experience shoulder pain, they should approach the Standing Cow Face Pose with caution or avoid it altogether.

The pose requires a deep stretch of the shoulders and upper back, which can put strain on the shoulder joint. If you have a shoulder injury or experience shoulder pain, this movement can exacerbate the injury or cause additional pain and discomfort.

To modify the pose, you can use props such as a strap or towel to help you reach your hands or avoid bringing your arms behind your back altogether.

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