Gomukhasana (Cow Face Posture)
When this Asana is demonstrated, it will look like the face of a cow. Hence this significant name. Gomukha means `Cow-face.'
Place the heel of the left leg under the left part of the anus. Bring the right leg in such a way that the right knee will be above the left knee and the right sole along the side of the left thigh in close contact. By gradual practice, you will have to bring the right heel to touch the left buttock. Sit quite erect. Now you will have to make a finger-lock of the two index-fingers at the back dexterously, of course with a little difficulty in the beginning. Take the left hand to the back, raise the left index-finger upwards. Bring the right index-finger downwards and catch hold of the left index-finger firmly. Make a finger-lock now. If it slips, try again, and keep the lock for two minutes. Breathe slowly. The Asana will now look like the face of a cow. When you make the finger-lock, do not turn the body, do not bend the heel and chest. Keep the trunk quite straight. Change the hands and legs alternately. Fat people will find it difficult to do this Asana, to adjust the heels and thighs and to make the finger-lock. But continual practice will make them all right.
This Asana removes rheumatism in the legs, sciatica, piles or haemorrhoids, neuralgia of the legs and thighs, indigestion, dyspepsia, muscular pain in the back, and sprain in the forearms. This helps in maintaining Brahmacharya and good health. Mula Bandha comes by itself and can be kept up with ease. Hence, this Asana is suitable for the practice of Pranayama. Ordinarily you can sit at all times in this Asana for long meditation also. Lean persons with thin thighs and legs will like this Asana very much. Yogi Swami Svarupananda of Jwalapur, Haridwar, was a votary of this Asana. He used to sit always in this Asana alone. This was his favourite Asana. If you find a little congestion (accumulation) of blood in the thighs and legs, massage or shampoo the legs and thighs with your hands as soon as you release the Asana.
There is also another variety of Gomukhasana. When you do this variety, raise the elbow of the left hand upwards and the fingers at the back. Take the right hand to the back, raise the index-finger up as far as you can and form a hook of the index-fingers.
I. Vama Janvasana:
You will have to keep the legs as in Gomukhasana by keeping the right thigh and knee over the left. The hands can be kept near your chest or on the lap of knees.
II. Dakshina Janvasana:
In this Asana the left thigh and knee are kept over the right. This is convenient for some persons.