VINYASA BLISS - Part-10:
31 DAYS of Physical Fitness, Mental Health, & Emotional Wellness
DAY 28 of #31dayyogachallenge — JANUARY 28th, 2021
✨ Open Cow Face Pose ✨ (Gomukhasana)
As we wrote at the beginning of our Vinyasa Bliss series, we want to help the public sector develop strategic programs for mental health and physical wellness.
Ideally, our programs will focus on yoga therapy, creative therapy, and the practical knowledge regarding health that we have gained over the years.
There are numerous ways to engage in what some wellness practitioners call “self-care." The definition of Self-care is to take care of the body, mind, and finances in ways that will prevent you from losing physical health and personal wealth.
Participating in self-care does not have to be complicated. It can be as simple as exercising regularly and making good choices about what you consume for sustenance.
Taking five (5) minutes to focus on your breathing and at least fifteen (15) minutes a day of moving your body around in a systematic manner is a component of self-care. Reinforce those actions by visiting a primary care physician and other medical professionals like dentists and optometrists.
Self-care can also involve putting aside money for health insurance and medical emergencies. The pay-off for investing time and resources in self-care comes when you realize that such investments can save you money and valuable time by averting future illness.
Therapeutic exercises are a form of self-care. They strengthen the muscles, increase endurance, improve flexibility, and increase aerobic capacity.
So, the question is, what makes therapeutic exercise different from regular exercise? The answer is therapeutic exercises consist of physical rehabilitation programs and preventative measures for physically immobilized patients. They can be prescribed by medical professionals or recommended by wellness practitioners.
Yoga is an effective form of therapeutic exercise. The practice has physical postures that can strengthen muscles or muscle groups over time. Yoga improves flexibility by lengthening muscles and tendons beyond the available range. The asanas can also increase the range of motion in the joints and limbs of the body.
Pranayama, the breathing techniques of yoga, enhance aerobic capacity and endurance.
Yoga therapy was created and developed by B.K.S. Iyengar. Mr. Iyengar’s advancements in restorative yoga successfully assisted his clients who suffered from chronic injuries, anxiety, depression, and hypertension.
Iyengar also found restorative yoga useful on heart blockages, diabetes, asthma, and seasonal allergies. His advancements in restorative yoga led to the development of yoga therapy.
Yoga Therapy inculcates a broad view of health and wellness. It allows yoga professionals to design programs for clients with health issues beyond public class settings.
A yoga therapy session is very much like an appointment with an occupational rehabilitation specialist or physical therapist. The sessions are typically conducted privately or in small groups. Emphasis is on correct alignment, proper breathing, muscle relaxation, and the therapeutic use of asana and pranayama to address physical and mental infirmities.
Cow Face Pose, or Gomukhasana in Sanskrit, can be viewed as a quintessential aspect of restorative yoga and yoga therapy.
Gomukhasana's name comes from the illusion that the completed pose resembles the face of a cow. The arms create the cow's ears, and the torso signifies the cow's nose. The crossed legs create the cow's snout and mouth.
The final iteration of cow face pose requires suppleness in the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
Gomukhasana demands awareness of alignment from the head to the spine and down the lower back. These important vectors of knowledge indicate that most people must invest time and effort to develop mastery in cow face pose over time.
Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
*Come onto all fours.
*Cross the left leg behind the right and bring the knees together.
*Take the feet apart and, keeping the knees together as much as possible.
*Sit back evenly between the feet.
*Rest the buttocks evenly across the floor. If you are unable to do so, prop yourself up on a blanket or block.
*Reach the left arm up and come into the cow face pose arm position with the left arm raised.
*Hold this position.
*Release the arms, plant the palms in front of you, lean forward, and untangle the legs.
*Do the second side with the left leg crossed over the right and the right arm raised.