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The way to Do Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) in Yoga

Targets: Hip opener

Tools: Mat

Degree: Intermediate

Pigeon pose is a hip-opening ahead bend. There are three main variations of Pigeon pose, every constructing upon the one earlier than. This model is the primary stage and it’s the one you’ll generally observe in yoga class. The subsequent is Mermaid pose and the total pose is One-Legged King Pigeon. Anticipate to spend a while getting comfy in every pose earlier than transferring to the subsequent step.


Pigeon pose particularly works as a hip opener and ahead bend, stretching your thighs, groin, again, piriformis, and psoas. The leg prolonged to the rear will get a stretch of the psoas and different hip flexors. On the opposite aspect, the rotators and outer hip are stretched. It’s a good antidote to sitting for lengthy durations. It prepares you for seated postures and backbends.

Step-by-Step Directions


Watch Now: The way to Stretch Your Hips with Pigeon Pose

There are a number of alternative ways to method Pigeon pose. One of many easiest is from Downward Going through Canine. You may comply with the identical instructions beginning out of your palms and knees place when you choose.

  1. From Downward Going through Canine, carry the precise leg up right into a Down Canine Cut up.
  2. Bend your proper knee and produce that leg ahead as when you had been going to step right into a lunge. As an alternative of inserting your foot down as you’ll for a lunge, carry your proper knee to the ground on the skin of your proper hand. The correct shin could angle again in direction of the left hip or be extra parallel to the entrance of your mat, relying in your vary of movement.
  3. Launch your left knee to your mat. Your left leg needs to be flat on the ground. Have a look backward and ensure that your left foot is pointing straight again.
  4. Sq. your hips in direction of the entrance of your mat.
  5. Take padding (a folded blanket works effectively) beneath the precise aspect of your hip as essential to make the pose extra comfy.
  6. Should you really feel secure, carry your torso down right into a ahead bend over your proper leg.
  7. Preserve hips sq. and weight balanced equally on each side as greatest you possibly can. If this feels too intense, place a blanket or block or beneath the hip or again knee. Attain your brow towards the ground.
  8. Proceed squaring your hips and respiration into any tightness.
  9. Come again up, bringing your palms according to your hips.
  10. To launch, curl your left toes beneath and step again right into a Downward Going through Canine.
  11. Repeat the pose on the opposite aspect.

Widespread Errors

Keep away from these errors to get essentially the most out of this pose.

Rotated Rear Leg

Your rear leg needs to be in a impartial place reasonably than rotated outward. To appropriate this, tuck your toes beneath and raise your thigh to regulate so your hips are sq..

Hips Not Sq.

Do not collapse onto the hip of the entrance bent knee. Preserve your hips sq., propped with padding as wanted.

Modifications and Variations

You may tailor the Pigeon pose to greatest suit your physique by following these methods. Work on getting a deeper stretch or maintain it extra modest—no matter works greatest in your physique. 

Want a Modification?

To make this extra comfy (and more practical) for a newbie, you possibly can take a number of further steps and precautions. 

Verify the hip of the leg that’s bent in entrance of you. If the hip does not contact the ground, be sure you take ample padding beneath the butt on that aspect. If crucial, use a number of blankets or a block. It is vital to evenly distribute your weight between each hips and maintain them sq. towards the bottom. In any other case, you can be inserting stress on the knee and twisting your sacrum.

If the ahead bend is troublesome, use a block beneath your forearms and/or beneath your brow. Attempt to create a help system of props that permits you to chill out within the ahead bend.

If the Pigeon Pose simply does not give you the results you want, Eye of the Needle (Succirandrasana) is an efficient substitute.

Up for a Problem?

As you grow to be extra superior, you possibly can transfer on to Mermaid pose or the total model of the One-Legged King Pigeon Pose. There are three alternative ways to discover Pigeon. These directions are for when the precise knee is in entrance of you and the left leg is stretched behind.

  1. Quad stretch: Bend your left knee and attain again in your left foot along with your left hand whereas lifting your proper arm up in direction of the sky.
  2. Mermaid pose: Bend your left knee and attain again in your left foot along with your left hand. Hook the bend of your left arm across the high of your left foot. After you have the hook, attain your proper arm up and again to clasp the left fingertips or wrist.
  3. One-Legged King Pigeon: Bend your left knee and attain again for the left aspect of your foot along with your left hand as left elbow factors up in direction of the sky. After you have the foot, invite your proper arm to additionally attain up and again and seize maintain of the precise aspect of the foot.

The way to Put together

Eye of the Needle Pose is among the greatest preparatory postures you are able to do for Pigeon Pose, particularly when you’ve got tight hips.

  1. Lie in your again along with your knees bent and toes on the ground and discover a impartial backbone.
  2. Carry one foot and cross the ankle on the other thigh, simply above the knee.
  3. Interlace your palms behind the again of the other thigh and exhale as you draw each legs in nearer to your chest.
  4. Maintain for 5 breaths and repeat on the opposite aspect.

For a extra energetic hip opener, it’s also possible to strive a standing Determine-4 pose, also referred to as One-Legged Chair pose, to organize for Pigeon.

Security and Precautions

Keep away from this pose when you’ve got any knee damage or hip points. You shouldn’t really feel any stress on the knee. You’ll really feel rotation of your femur within the hip socket and an incredible stretch alongside the entrance of the hip, nevertheless it shouldn’t be painful.

Steadily Requested Questions

What muscle groups does Pigeon pose stretch?

As a hip opener, Pigeon Pose stretches the outer hip, thigh, groin, and again, and likewise the piriformis, and psoas muscle groups. The prolonged leg additionally receives a hip flexor stretch.

Who ought to keep away from Pigeon pose?

These with knee, hip, or again points could need to keep away from Pigeon pose, and it might be uncomfortable in later levels of being pregnant. As with all yoga poses, any pose that causes bodily discomfort or ache needs to be stopped instantly and averted or modified.

How will you ease into Pigeon pose?

Work your method into Pigeon Pose by inserting a folded blanket or block beneath your seat for help. Maintain the posture with an upright torso as a substitute of folding ahead. If that is nonetheless not accessible to you, lie in your again and carry out Eye of the Needle Pose as a substitute.

Strive It Out

Incorporate this transfer and related ones into one in every of these well-liked exercises:

  • Yoga Poses You Ought to Do Day by day
  • Yoga Poses for Sciatica
  • Yoga Poses to Stretch Your Quads

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