Print Print Comment Comment Add to Favorites
Log in to save to My Yoga Journal!
Add to Favorites
Bookmark Bookmark

Mission Possible

Is Gomukhasana nearly impossible for you? These tips can help you come closer to clasping your hands.

By Julie Gudmestad

To help stretch and lengthen the shoulder flexors and external rotators, spend one minute twice a day with your forearms stacked behind your back and your hands reaching toward your elbows. Keep your chest lifted and open, and breathe into your upper chest and front shoulders. As the stacked-forearm position becomes more comfortable, start to work one hand up your back, gradually moving it up between the shoulder blades. Again, keep your chest lifted and your shoulders back and down. Once you can get your hand up between your blades, you have a shot at catching the fingers with the "up" arm.

To put the pieces together, stretch your right arm forward and up, maintaining external rotation as you flex your elbow, and bring the right hand down onto your upper back. Take your left arm out to the side and internally rotate it so your thumb points down and to the back. Then quickly swing your hand in and up between your shoulder blades to catch your hands. It's fine to use a belt between the hands until they meet naturally. Stand tall, with your chest lifted, shoulders broad, and both sides of the waist lengthening evenly. Practicing this pose a little bit two to three times a week goes a long way. The next time your teacher announces, "Gomukhasana," you'll be the one smiling while everyone else is looking apprehensive.

A physical therapist and Iyengar Yoga teacher, Julie Gudmestad runs a physical therapy practice and yoga studio in Portland, Oregon.

Page 1 2 3

Print Print Comment Comment Add to Favorites
Log in to save to My Yoga Journal!
Add to Favorites
Bookmark Bookmark
Full Name
Address 1
Address 2
Zip Code:
Email (req):

Reader Comments


I have just now - on the quick - followed these instructions once and already I know they are gold and very very much spot on. I will practice them as often as possible. This is exactly the advice I was looking for, so thank you & Namaste!


I have students who cannot get the leg part of this pose.


I used to practice Gomkhasana earlier frequently without much problem. About an year ago I lost the flexibility and especially the internal rotation of lower arm. Hope the tips given in this article wil help me to regain the flexibility in performing this asana with ease.

Add a Comment »

Your Name:


Stay Connected with Us!

Yoga Journal Live events
ep14 YJ LIVE! Colorado
Estes Park, Colorado
Sep 14-21, 2014
florida YJ LIVE! Florida
Hollywood, FL
Nov 13-17, 2014

More Events

Join Yoga Journal's Benefits Plus
Liability insurance and benefits to support
teachers and studios.
Learn More
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 4 FREE GIFTS
Your subscription includes
Yoga for Neck & Shoulders • Yoga Remedies
Yoga for Headaches • Calm, Cool, Collected
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Yoga Journal
and my 4 FREE downloadable Yoga Booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions