Gomukhasana variation forward bend for hip joints

By Atul Vyas

My yoga guru and mentor my revered mother Daya Vyas, who was also the first lady yoga guru of India and professor of economics, taught me intricacies of yoga from her daily conduct like having meals always on floor sitting cross legged.


The hip is a rugged and stable joint, as it needs to bear the weight of the upper body and stresses of moving about. The hip is also one of the most vulnerable of joints and is susceptible to the effects of wear and tear. It is one of the most common sites for early arthritis and some degree of osteoarthritis of the hip is most inevitable in later years.

In fact, hip replacement is one of the most common surgical operations performed in the west.

In the west, the main use to which hips are put is in walking. This action lacks sideways movement which affects lubrication of joints which starts to tear the hip joints. In India, where people sit cross legged there is very little osteoarthritis of hips. By sitting cross legged the muscles that surround the hip joint are stretched regularly through their full range of movement.


There are many other poses in yoga which stretch hip muscles and give all round movement to the hip joint thus keeping this vital joint healthy. One of them is forward bending Gomukhasana or forward bending cow head pose.



  • Sit erect with both legs stretched forward
  • Fold the right leg at knee and place it on ground by the side of the left buttock
  • Bring the left leg over right leg in such a way that left knee is exactly above right knee and feet is placed on ground on the side of right buttock
  • Two soles should remain out towards left and right side
  • Place the palms on the soles of right and left legs
  • Slowly breathe out bend forward as much as you can comfortably
  • Hold for 5 seconds, breathing normally



  • Removes the pain in the hip and lower extremities
  • Makes spine flexible and gives it a healthy stretch
  • Very useful in arthritis
  • Strengthens lungs


Atul Vyas likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist”. He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.

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