Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or pigeon pose is an advanced level asana of extension and hip opening, which requires a certain flexibility and technique in those who practice it.
The name comes from the Sanskrit word Kapota which means “dove”, and Asana means “posture”. When the person does the pose, it looks as elegant as the bird.
Pigeon pose is excellent for strengthening and increasing blood flow to the lower back, muscles, and pelvic area. In fact, it has many benefits and also gives your body a good stretch. So it’s mandatory to include this pose in your yoga practice. It’s a good idea to practice it early in the morning. But if you are not a morning person, you can practice this posture at night also.
Benefits of Pigeon Pose
Suitable for beginners as well as advanced, the pigeon’s posture has exceptional benefits. Pigeon’s posture:
-Increases the elasticity of your arms, spine, thighs, calf muscles, shoulders, and hands.
-It tones the muscles of the throat and the organs inside the rib cage, abdomen, and chest.
-Helps stretch and strengthen the muscles and joints from the legs.
-Improves blood circulation in the body and improves the functioning of the digestive system.
-Reduces blood pressure and the effects of chronic diseases.
-It can calm the mind and body and releases stress.
-Strengthens the lungs.
-Reduces stiffness in the hips, back, and shoulders.
-Activates the nervous system and also increases the oxygen intake.
Even with its benefits, you should avoid doing this pose if you have severe neck, back or knee injuries, or if you have high or low blood pressure.
How to do Pigeon Pose?
-Kneel down and place a bent leg forward. Stretch the other leg back.
-Place your hands on the floor to the sides of your body, slowly placing your groin on the floor.
-To make it easier for the groin to reach the ground, you must move as far away as necessary from the heel and raise the knee.
-Contract the glutes of the straightened leg.
-Now take the coccyx to the pubis, i.e., press on the pelvic area.
-Tighten the abdomen and bring the shoulder blades together, directing them towards the coccyx.
-Stretch your arms above your head with your palms together.
-You can omit this last step of the pigeon’s posture if you find it difficult. Let your arms rest touching the ground to keep your balance.
-After achieving the pigeon’s posture, hold it for 15 to 30 seconds and change legs.
-Finally, repeat on the other side.
If you’re a beginner
You must listen to your body. If you are a beginner, you could use the support of yoga bands, blocks, or bricks to achieve this correct posture.
So, for example, if your forehead doesn’t reach the mat, you can close your fists and stack them on each other, and then rest your forehead on your hands or use a block.
Finally, remember to learn and practice this posture with a certified yoga teacher. In Fred Busch Power Yoga, this is a posture that we do quite often and of course, always giving alternatives at all levels.