• Kelly

Gomukhasana or Cow Face Pose

This posture is a terrific stretch for the hips and thighs, and shoulders, triceps, and chest. Gomukhasana can be held for 3-5 minutes as a Yin pose, working the hip joints and connective tissues. Repeat on the second side for an equal length of time.

Start by sitting in Dandasana or Staff Pose. Move the left foot under the right leg and toward the right hip. Cross the right leg over the left knee so that the right foot is out toward the left side. The knees should be stacked. If the tension is too much in the hips, elevate the hips with a blanket. Feet should be an equal distance from the hips.

Reach the right arm out to the side. Turn the thumb downward and bring the hand down around to the lower back. The palm is facing away from the body. Slide the right hand up the back toward the space between the shoulder blades. Reach out with the left hand, thumb upward. Move the left hand up and over the body. The left hand reaches down the back toward the right hand with palm facing the body. The hands may touch, or there may be a gap between them. Use a strap or your shirt as a tool to inch your hands toward one another. If the hands do touch, lock fingers together.

If you have shoulder issues or want to focus on the lower body, you could bring the torso forward and lay your forearms on the mat. This intensifies the stretch in the outer hip.