Pigeon Pose (Kapotasama)

Pigeon Pose (Kapotasama)

The pigeon pose, called Kapotasama in Sanskrit (the full name is Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) is a yoga pose that can be practiced by anybody. One of its key benefits is the reduction and elimination of the stress impact on the human body. In the beginning, it can be hard, but the improvements will soon appear. The practice will open the hip joints, flexor muscles and rotator muscles (improving hip flexibility), ease back pain, relieve sciatic nerve tensions and improve blood circulation for the digestive, urinary and reproductive system. The pose can be good for beginners and great for pregnant women. Advanced practitioners can try more complex versions of the pose.

How to perform the basic Pigeon Pose step-by-step

  1. You have to be in the starting position on your hands and knees, in a squared table pose.
  2. The right knee has to be brought forward, until it reaches your right hand. You can do this by sliding the knee forward, slowly. The angle of the knee must be two o’clock. In this way, the shin is under the thigh.
  3. The left leg should be brought back until the hips do not allow more. The hip flexor or the front of the left hip will usually not allow too much sliding.
  4. The hips must be kept square to the floor, otherwise there will be too much force on the back and it will now allow you to open your hips as much as you should. You have to feel a deep stretch in your right glute.
  5. You will have to slide the right foot forward slowly, towards your left hand. Make sure you do this gradually. Your foot should be now parallel with the front edge of the mat.
  6. Your thighs should have a rotation: the right one should rotate externally and the left one should rotate internally. In this way, pressure is kept off from the knee cap.
  7. Your body must be supported by pressing your hands on the floor.

You may not be able to place your right foot so it can be parallel with the front edge of the mat from the beginning, but you should keep trying. The steps above represent on of the ways you can use to enter the position and start practicing the pigeon pose. There are others more complex, but this one is enough for beginners. No matter if you are a professional athlete or you work in an office, the pigeon pose is worth including in your daily yoga exercises.

Pigeon Pose - Alternate

An alternate version of the Pigeon Pose, with the rear leg raised.


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