Cow face pose with Eagle arms

1. Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose), then bend your knees and put your feet on the floor. Slide your left foot under the right knee to the outside of the right hip. Then cross your right leg over the left, stacking the right knee on top of the left, and bring the right foot to the outside of the left hip. Try to bring the heels equidistant from the hips: with the right leg on top you’ll have to tug the right heel in closer to the left hip. Sit evenly on the sitting bones.

2. Pause here with hands resting on feet for 8 breaths.

3. Inhale, extend the arms out at your sides, creating a “T” shape. Exhale, swing the right arm underneath the left as you press your forearms together, keeping them perpendicular to the floor. Press the palms, or grab the opposite wrist. Lift the elbows slightly as you melt your shoulders down the back.

4. If this feels uncomfortable, keep the arms crossed, but release the palms on the shoulders and give yourself a big hug. Make sure to do the same for the left side.

5. Stay in this pose about 1 minute. Release the arms, uncross the legs, and repeat with the arms and legs reversed for the same length of time.

Note: A modification to help open the hips one at a time (if struggling to get into this pose), is to extend one leg out straight and bring the other leg over the top towards the ultimate position of Gomukhasana.

BENEFITS
• Beautiful for opening the hips and shoulders. Also, stretches the ankles, thighs, triceps, and chest.
• Fantastic those suffering sciatica, where pain is due to muscular tension in the back of the pelvis or by compression of the sacroiliac joints.