Go­mukhasana

Yoga Journal - - Practice Well -

Cow Face Pose This pose lu­bri­cates the shoul­der’s joints and soft tis­sues and re­veals how far you can move in both ex­ter­nal ro­ta­tion and flex­ion in the up­per arm, and in­ter­nal ro­ta­tion and ex­ten­sion in the lower arm. Sit in a cross­legged po­si­tion (or Go­mukhasana, shown) and face your right palm for­ward and left palm back­ward, then reach your right arm sky­ward. Reach your left arm be­hind you un­til it hits its limit of mo­tion. The right shoul­der is now in ex­ter­nal ro­ta­tion and flex­ion, while the left shoul­der is in in­ter­nal ro­ta­tion and ex­ten­sion. Bend both el­bows and walk your fin­gers to­ward one an­other along your back un­til they clasp. (If you can’t do so with­out dis­tort­ing your spine, use a strap.) Honor the nat­u­ral curves of your spine by not al­low­ing the ribs or spine to thrust out of align­ment. Hold for 5 deep breaths, then switch sides. (You may no­tice range-of-mo­tion dif­fer­ences on the sec­ond side.)

If your shoul­ders are healthy (and you want to keep them that way), prac­tice …

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