People often get confused by the name of Gomukhasana and declare that they cannot see a Cow Face. The best way to see the Cow Face is when the pose is practiced properly with the knees directly one on top of the other. In this way, the mouth of the Cow Face can be seen more prominently. The other key to seeing the Cow Face is when the arms are also in proper position with the upper arm rotating in towards the face and the elbow reaching up towards the sky. This creates one of the ears of the Cow Face.
While Gomukhasana is often taught as part of the curriculum of beginning yoga classes, this pose requires a great deal of flexibility in several areas of the body, namely the shoulders, hips, and ankles. The full pose is best practiced after opening up the hips and legs for greater flexibility with poses like Baddha Konasana and Upavistha Konasana. The upper body portion of the pose is often taught in Tadasana, Mountain Pose, or sometimes in Virasana, Hero’s Pose as a warm up for the arms and upper body as well as warm up for Backbends. Gomukhasana is a chest opening pose, but beginner’s often make the mistake of over arching in the back in order to grasp the fingers behind the back. Remember to draw the lower ribs in and use a strap behind the back to keep the shoulders and chest open.
In which one of the pictures below, can you most clearly see the Cow Face?