HOW TO: Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)

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This pose is one of my favorites as it opens up the hips, chest, and shoulders which are all areas that tend to get tight for me since I spend about 10 hours a day sitting at a desk.  It’s also a very calming pose and is perfect to if you’re feeling stressed or anxious.

Instructions:
Begin sitting on your yoga mat with your legs stretched out straight in fron of you.

Cross your left leg over your right, bringing your left knee directly above you right and bringing your left shin parallel with the mat.

You can stay here or bend your right leg, bringing your right shin parallel with the mat

Ensure that your weight is evenly distributed between both sitting bones.

To incorporate the chest and shoulder stretch, bring your left arm behind the back with a bent elbow and the back of your hand against your spine with your fingers pointed upward.

Raise your right arm and bend the elbow, intending to interlock your hands behind your back.

Keep your chest lifted and your shoulder blades drawing back towards each other.

Modifications:
Place a folded blanket under your hips and/or knees to protect them from discomfort.

If you are unable to interlace your fingers, you can grab onto a yoga strap behind your back.  Another option is to grab opposite elbows behind your back.

Benefits:
Deeply stretches the hips, knees, and shoulders

Stretches the thighs, ankles, underarms, triceps and chest

Improves shoulder mobility and hip mobility to help keep you staying active for longer

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