Cow Yoga Pose Photos and Gomukhasana Video Tips for Beginners

Cow Yoga Pose Photos and Gomukhasana Video Tips for Beginners


How to do the Bitilasana Pose

How to do cow pose

Step-By-Step

    1. Start on all fours, in tabletop position, on the mat. Plant your palms and knees shoulder and hip distance apart. Spread your fingers wide, with your middle fingers pointing straight forward.
    2. Point your toes and press the tops of your feet into the mat. Ensure that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor.
    3. Lean forward slightly, so that your shoulders are directly above your wrists. Externally rotate the arm by turning your elbow joints outwards so that your elbow creases face forwards.
    4. Flatten your back into a neutral position.
    5. Inhale. Scoop your tailbone away from your navel, gradually sinking your belly towards the floor. Expand and open your chest by rolling your shoulder blades back. Keep your arms and thighs perpendicular to the ground (don’t bend your elbows).
    6. As you sink your belly, raise your chin slightly, so that you are looking straight ahead or slightly upwards.
    7. Exhale and return to a neutral back and tabletop position. Alternatively, transition immediately into cat pose (marjariasana).

Modifications and Props

Tucked Toes Modification

cow pose toe tuck modification

If pressing the tops of your feet into the mat strains the muscles in your feet, tuck your toes instead of pointing them. Throughout the pose, press into the mat with your toes.

Anatomy

erector_spinae_musclesErector spinae. The erector spinae is a bundle of muscles and tendons in the back that control extension and rotation. Because they are responsible for straightening the back, the strength of the erector spinae muscles are closely linked with posture. Back bending poses, like cow pose, engage the erector spinae.


Abdominal muscles. The abdominals are located in the lower belly, between the ribs and the pelvis. They control the tilt of the pelvis and the curve of the lower spine. The gentle backbend of cow pose stretches the abdominal muscles.


deltoidsDeltoids. The deltoid muscles form the rounded contour of the outer shoulders. They prevent dislocation of the arm during heavy lifting. To engage the deltoids in cow pose, externally rotate the arms by turning your elbow joints outwards so that your elbow creases face forwards.


rotator_cuffRotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surrounds each shoulder joint. It is responsible for stabilizing the shoulder. To engage the rotator cuff muscles in cow pose, externally rotate the arm by turning your elbow joints outwards so that your elbow creases face forwards.


Pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles run between your legs, from the pubic bone to the base of the spine. They support the bladder, rectum, and (in women) the vagina and uterus. Cow pose gently tones the pelvic floor.

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