Pigeon Pose is a popular yoga asana that helps in opening the hips and alleviating lower back pain. Yoga can be done in variations but the most common Pigeon Pose yoga is done while sitting.
If you are planning to perform Pigeon stretch, we have the ultimate guide for you. Let’s start by telling what exactly is a Pigeon pose and then teach you how to do pigeon pose for beginners, its variations, and risks. Read on:
What is Pigeon Pose?
Pigeon pose is known as Eka Pada Rajakapotasana in the Sanskrit language where ‘Eka’ means One, ‘Pada’ means leg, ‘Raja’ means King, ‘Kapota’ means Pigeon, and ‘Asana’ means Pose. This is why it is often called the One Legged King Pigeon pose or King Pigeon pose. In Sanskrit too, its names vary from Eka Pada Rajakapotasana to Kapotasana pose.
People perform Pigeon stretch not just to open up stiff muscles but to also increase flexibility and calm the mind. Also, based on your fitness levels and experience, you can modify the One Legged Pigeon pose. We will talk about that later in the article. Coming back to the pose, you need to first master a few preparatory poses before jumping straight to Pada Rajakapotasana. Some of these yoga poses are:
- Downward-Facing Dog
- Thread the Needle
- Child’s Pose
- Sphinx Pose
These should also be performed as a warmup. You can then start Sitting Pigeon pose.
How to do Pigeon Pose Yoga?
Below is a step-by-step guide to performing the Classic Pigeon Pose or the Kapotasana pose:
- Stand on a yoga mat and then start the Downward-facing dog pose. For this, you have to come on all fours with your palms on the mat. As you press your hands and feet into the ground, try to straighten your legs and raise your hips upwards. Your body should form an upside-down V position.
- From here, raise your right leg and bring the right knee to the back of your right wrist. Rotate your shin so that your leg is now parallel with the front of your mat. While doing so, keep the left leg straight.
- Gently lower the right buttocks and body while maintaining body weight equally on your hips.
- Place your hands under the shoulder and press your palms to elongate your spinal cord. Keep your gaze straight and feel the stretch.
- This is your classic pigeon pose for beginners.
Pigeon Pose Variations
There are plenty of variations you can try to enjoy more. Some of the best ones are:
1. One Legged King Pigeon pose
The Eka Pada Rajakapotasana 1 2 3 4 steps are similar to the classic pigeon pose. After that, you have to bend your left knee to bring it closer to your back with your toes pointed. Then lift your left arm and grab the left foot. You can also slightly raise your chin up. Hold this King Pigeon pose for 5-10 reps.
2. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana 2
Yes, there is a second version of the One Legged King Pigeon pose. To do Eka Pada Rajakapotasana 2, you have to be a yoga expert as it required a great deal of flexibility and body balance. For this Rajakapotasana pose, you will have to bend your back as you grab the left foot and balance your body on the right leg.
3. Aerial Pigeon Pose
As the name suggests, this one is done using a suspension. Usually, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana 1 2 3 4 steps are followed but it is better to learn it from the expert and then perform it to avoid any injury.
To do such variations, it is best that you follow the instructions of a yoga trainer to ensure you stay on the safer side. Nowadays, you can also join online yoga classes and learn even the basics of sitting pigeon pose and Eka Pada Rajakapotasana benefits before starting yoga for beginners.
Piegon Pose Or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Benefits
After reading the steps and the variations of Eka Pada Kapotasana, it is time to focus on some Rajakapotasana benefits. Some of the best ones include:
1. Stretches Hips
One of the best benefits of Pigeon pose is that it can effectively open the hips by stretching your thighs, groin, back, piriformis, and psoas. This helps in improving blood flow and preventing any stiffness or pain.
2. Improves Posture
During Eka Pada Kapotasana, you have to stretch your spine and back. This, in turn, activates the muscles and keeps the upper body upright. All this significantly improves your body posture.
3. Reduces Lower Back Pain
Rajakapotasana benefits your spine and back as it helps in reducing the lower back pain through an overall stretch of the body. The pose also increases mobility in the front body and gently activates the muscles in the lower back.
Some other benefits of Pigeon pose are:
- It also supports good digestion by stretching abdominal muscles.
- It can also reduce stress and anxiety by calming the mind.
- It can also improve your body’s functionality.
Risks and Precautions
Knowing some precautions and methods makes sure you can avoid injury or sprain while doing Rajakapotasana pose. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are doing Pada Rajakapotasana:
- Avoid eating heavy meals at least 40 minutes before the yoga session.
- Do not overstretch your body as it can cause a sprain.
- Wear comfortable clothes to allow free movements of the body.
- If you have any knee or hip injury or have a chronic back issue, avoid One Legged Pigeon pose.
- Pregnant women should also avoid this yoga or should seek advice from a doctor before starting Pigeon Pose.
When it comes to yoga, there are plenty of poses that can help in boosting your physical, mental, and spiritual health. All you need to do is find which one is best for you. Pigeon pose is a great yoga to add to your home workouts. Practising it daily can bring plenty of health benefits. Just make sure you learn the steps correctly and follow all the precautions. All the best!
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