How to perform Cow Face Pose
Cross your legs over each other, bringing your knees one over the other. Place your feet next to your hips, and point your toes backward. Bring your hands behind your back, your elbows pointing in opposite directions. Join your hands or grab onto a belt if necessary.
(A variation involves Garudasana arms)
What is Full Gomukhasana?
This bound pose has a well-pronounced hip- and shoulder-opening effect. You bend your legs backward, the feet are positioned by the opposing hip joints, and you stack your knees on top of each other right in front of you. If necessary, use a block or blankets under your buttocks to elevate your hips so that you can ensure you keep your back straight and your sit bones grounded. After achieving this, clasp your hands behind your back, your elbows pointing in different directions, and open up your chest and shoulders.
When to use Full Gomukhasana?
This is an asymmetrical pose, perfect for promoting hip mobility and shoulder strength, and evening out imbalances in both sides of your body.
However, it can pose great difficulties if you are experiencing pain or excess stiffness in the neck, shoulders, or knee joints, so some modifications and/or props can be used to help ease your way into the pose. If you have knee issues, try simply crossing your legs or positioning them in Baddha Konasana instead. A belt can be used if you are struggling to join your hands behind your back.
Either way, this pose will help you stretch a whole range of muscles: those in your hips, ankles, thighs, shoulders, neck, and armpits. Moreover, this pose promotes good posture. It is also very energising which makes it a great pose to include in your morning routine or at the start of the sequence.