As the seasons change, we begin to transition from warmer to cooler weather, longer days to longer nights, and the high energy of Summer to the dwindling energy of Autumn.
This month’s posture, Gomukhasana, or Cow Face Posture, gives us an opportunity to explore balance—in our arms, legs, and hips. As we explore balance in our bodies, may we find more space for balance in our lives as we begin to slow down with Autumn.
1. Start on your hands and knees. On an outbreath, draw your right knee forward, placing it under your navel. On your next outbreath, draw your other knee behind the front knee. Sit back, looking for both sit bones to connect with the earth. If the pelvis tilts and lifts one sit bone above the earth, use a folded blanket or bolster to support the sit bone. Look for the feet to be about the same distance from the hips on both sides. The knees are going toward being stacked on top of each other. If the knees are not able to be stacked, it’s ok.
2. Extend the right arm forward, and on your next inbreath, rotate your arm so the thumb points towards the earth, swing the arm around towards your back. On your next outbreath, bend the elbow, reaching the back of the hand up the spine as high as you can in this moment.
3. On your next inbreath, extend the left arm up towards the sky. On your next outbreath, bend the left elbow, reaching the fingers of both hands towards each other. If the fingers do not meet, use a strap between both hands to connect them.
4. Breathe deeply. Extend the crown of the head and elbow of the top arm towards the sky. Allow the eyes and gaze to soften. (For those who wear glasses or contacts, it’s like not having your glasses or contacts on.)
5. Maintain the posture for 3 to 5 breaths. To return to neutral, on an outbreath, allow the bottom arm to slide down the back. Extend the top arm towards the sky and allow it to come back down towards the earth. Place both hands on the top knee. Rest here for a couple of moments before repeating the posture on the other side. Note: The top leg corresponds with the lower arm. Ex: Left leg on top, left arm lower. Also, you maybe be able to clasp the hands on one side, but not the other.
– Opens the ankles, hips, thighs, shoulders, armpits, triceps, and chest
Contraindications & Cautions
– Serious neck or shoulder challenges