Gomukasana - The Cow-Face

 

Gomukha Anterior
Gomukha Posterior

 

Introduction

  • go (gau) गा : m. stag, cattle | pl. gavas livestock; herd – f. cow | word | sun ray (forming the celestial herd) | the Earth (cow of the kings) | the body hair | myth. np. of Go “Words”, epith. Of Sarasvati, goddess of the sacred word, sakti of Brahma.
  • mukha मुख : root mu/k. Face, countenance; the origin, the front; mouth, opening; forehead; army front; head, tip; essential part, best part; begining.

 

Note

Compare Mayasana (Illusion), Gomukhasana (Cow-Face) and Gorakshasana (Cowherd)

 

Presentation:

The position of the feet in this posture is either with feet crossed, in Vajrasana with feet staight, or in Mayasana (leg crossed). If the legs are crossed, the arms must be inversed:

  • If the right leg rests upon the left one, then the right arm is below and the left one above, and inversely.
  • If the left foot rests upon the right one, then the left arm is below and the right one above, and inversely.

Note: the version presented here, with feet crossed, has the advantage of providing a strong stimulation of the root. In this way, it increases the intensity of the posture.

The eyes are closed in Maddya Drishtti and the tongue in Khechari Mudra during the entire posture.

Upon inhalation, raise one arm straight and pass the other one, bent, behind. The hands come in the middle of the back and hold one another strongly. The arms must be at the vertical of the spine. However, according to individual variations, an oblique position towards the exterior can be adopted. The most important aspect is to not bend the back: this is a natural tendency due to the pressure created by the arm located behind the head. On the contrary, the trunk should be as straight as possible. The heart center is involved in this posture.

The classical version emphasizes breathing in Bhastrika accompanied by a specific visualization:

  • Visualize the air entering through the heart when inhaling through the belly and going out by the heart when exhaling through the body. In this way, each belly movement corresponds to a stimulation of the heart center.
  • In this way, apply bhastrika. Silently say the Bija “Ham” during inspiration and “Sa” during exhalation. Continue for about 4 minutes. Then, exhale naturally and peacefully without exhaling the residual air. Do an empty-lung retention. Maintain the gaze slightly above the horizontal ine. Observe sound, light and vibration. Go deeper in the inner focus. Open spaces and hold the breathing as long as possible. This requires soothing the mind to dissipate fears and go from one state of emptiness to another. Link with the great archetypes or link to Goraksha, master of this practice.
  • Then, inhale slowly and peacefully. Do a full-lung retention. This retention is shorter and must be comfortable.
  • Finally, exhale and open the posture during an exhalation. Sit comfortably and observe the results. Repeat the sequence on the other side.

The work occurs mostly in empty-lung retention, between the strongly stimulated root and the top. This is a great practice of exteriorization, allowing feeling the inner spaces opening and closing in the inner depth.