The Pigeon Pose
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Kapotasana for short)
The Pigeon Pose is a very popular hip opener pose in yoga practice.
It helps stretch the muscles surrounding your hips and ease lower back and/or sciatic pain.
It is also a great way to increase flexibility and release stress.
There are many variations of the Pigeon Pose. Let’s explore the classic version.
1. You can start from a Downward Dog pose, or on your hands and knees.
Bring the bent left leg to the front of the mat.
Align the knee to the edge of the mat and rotate your left shin so it becomes as parallel as possible to the front end of the mat.
People with knee issues or any other physical limitations can tug the left foot close to the right hip to avoid pain.
2. Extend the right leg straight as far back as your body allows.
With each breath, gently lower your left buttock toward the ground.
Make sure your body weight is equally distributed between the hips. You can also place a folded towel or block underneath your left buttock if the pose becomes too challenging.
3. Place your fingers next to your body and begin to elongate your spine and sit tall.
Gaze forward and feel the stretch. Focus on your breath and allow the breath to help you deepen the pose.
This is the Classic Pigeon Pose.
4. You may also add a gentle forward bend, by lowering your torso forward and/or stretching your arms straight in front of you.
If this becomes uncomfortable, simply stay in the upright position, or reach forward as far as your body will allow.
Stay in that position for 5-to-10 breaths.
Repeat on the other side.
Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your health care professional.