Cow Face Pose: 8 Steps to a Better Stretch

cow face pose
Cow Face Pose

The Cow Face pose, or Gomukhasana, opens the joints of the body. Although sometimes challenging, it's an accessible pose for many through the use of yoga equipment and props.

About Cow Face Pose

The root of gomukhasana is comprised of two Sanskrit words: go, which means "cow"; and mukha, which means "face." If you perform cow face pose in front of a mirror and use your imagination, your posture resembles a cow's face.

This asana has the primary benefit of stretching the:

  • Ankles
  • Armpits
  • Chest and shoulders
  • Hips and thighs

Do not perform cow face pose if you have severe shoulder or neck problems.

Step into the Pose

To Perform Cow Face Pose

  1. Begin in Staff pose, legs straight ahead, arms at sides.
  2. Turn your left leg over your right, placing the left foot by the right hip.
  3. Curve the right leg under your left, foot by the left hip.
  4. Balance the body on the sits bones (buttock bones) and make sure both feet are an equal distance from the body.
  5. Inhale, and extend the right arm, rotating the palm inward to face the ceiling.
  6. On the exhale, lift the arm, and bring it behind your head and down your back, elbow close to the head, back of the hand between the shoulder blades.
  7. Do the same thing with the left arm, only bring it to the back from the bottom.
  8. Hold the pose for 30-seconds, uncross, and repeat the sequence with the right leg on top.

For more instructions on cow face pose, visit Yoga Journal.


This pose requires great flexibility. However, you can learn form by using a strap between the between the hands behind your back. Also, sit on a folded blanket if your hips are tight.


When the hands touch in the middle of the back, lock fingers.

Cow Face Pose: 8 Steps to a Better Stretch