Pose of the Month

June: Cowface Arms

 

Cowface is one of my absolute favorite postures. Legend has it that cowface gets its name from the shape of the elbows that represent the floppy ears of a happy cow. 

In its full expression, there is a lower body stretch that accompanies the shoulder opening in the upper half of the torso. We suggest enjoying the benefits you will receive from just moving your arms into this interesting shape.

English: Cowface arms aka archer's arms

Sanskrit: Gomukhasana

Category: Heart opener, shoulder bind

Stretches: Arm pits, Triceps, Pectoral muscles, Side body of arm with lifted elbow

Strengthens : Deltoids, Biceps, Upper back postural muscles


Benefits

  • Opens the lungs for deep breathing
  • Stretches muscles that can address neck & shoulder pain
  • Energizes the mind and body by increasing blood flow to the heart

Instructions

  1. Raise your right arm over head and bend your elbow to touch the back of your lower neck.
  2. Bring your left arm behind your back and reach your left hand up until it meets your right fingers.
  3. If your hands do not connect, use a scarf or belt to bridge the gap. Avoid forcing connection if your shoulders are right. You can still benefit from the stretch without props or connected hands.
  4. Take 5 breaths into the pose, then release.
  5. Roll out your shoulders and switch sides.

Considerations

  1. During the stretch, keep the neck muscles relaxed and breath into the spaces that are stretching.
  2. Keep your spinal posture upright by sitting up straight.
  3. Avoid this pose if you have serious neck or shoulder injuries.

Feel free to chime in. Leave your questions in the comments box, and let us know how you this practice leads to progress in your day. We look forward to seeing how just taking several minutes to stretch can transform your whole day!