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Gomukhasana, which translates as “cow face,” is a great way to open the shoulders and chest. Cow pose also stretches the spine, arms, and neck and relieves tension in the upper back. This pose, said to resemble a cow’s face, provides an effective counteraction to all the forwardbending tasks that occur throughout the day. Opening up the chest improves lung capacity, nurtures deeper breathing, and leads to feelings of abundance and generosity.

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Gomukhasana, which translates as “cow face,” is a great way to open the shoulders and chest. Cow pose also stretches the spine, arms, and neck and relieves tension in the upper back. This pose, said to resemble a cow’s face, provides an effective counteraction to all the forwardbending tasks that occur throughout the day. Opening up the chest improves lung capacity, nurtures deeper breathing, and leads to feelings of abundance and generosity.

Sit with your legs in front of you and then bring the right knee on top of the left. With legs crossed, bring your heels towards your body. Make sure your back is straight, with extended spine and relaxed shoulders.

Pointing your right elbow toward the sky, take your right hand and reach over the top of your right shoulder. Your palm should be behind you and facing your back. With your left elbow pointing toward the ground, wrap that arm behind your back, palm facing out. Bring your hands toward each other, clasping them if you can. Remain here for five full breaths, letting the shoulders open and soften.

Reverse your legs and arms and repeat.

If your shoulders feel tight, don’t force this pose. If your hands don’t touch with relative ease, use a strap or towel to get the same stretch. Over time you will develop the flexibility to do this asana without props.

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