Asana: Pigeon Pose


Sankrit: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (aa-KAH pah-DAH rah-JAH-cop-poh-TAHS-anna)

This is a pose that many people absolutely despise because you really feel it in your hips. This used to be "my pose" because I hated it but knew I had to work on it. Over time, I learned to love pigeon. It is now one of my favorite poses because I feel so strong and flexible in it. Pigeon pose focuses on your thighs, knees, core, hips, groins, chest, and shoulders. It is a great all around pose.

Disclaimer: If you have an ankle or knee injury, or tight hips & thighs, be careful in this pose.

Start in Downward Dog. Bring your right foot into the air (this is your three-legged dog). Breathe.
Carefully and slowly swing your right leg towards your hands, placing your right thigh on the  floor parallel to your mat.
Your left toe should still be upright, use this to extend your left leg back a tad. Once your leg feels as extended as it can get (without pain!), place the top of your left foot on floor.
Sit into your hips, sliding your hands closer to your pelvis.
Now, extend your hand up to the sky and reach (extending your spine upwards). Slowly start to lower down to your right leg (keeping your spine as straight as you can).
Hang out in this position as long as you can. DO NOT FORGET TO BREATHE!!!
Many yoga teachers like to keep us here for long periods of time, up to 8 long breaths. It will feel uncomfortable. You will feel pinching in your right hip. Breathe into that spot.
Slowly (and I mean very slow), bring your hands under your shoulders and sit up. Press into your hands sliding your right leg back up into the air into three-legged dog.
Repeat with the left leg.

Three-Legged Dog before and after Pigeon pose feels great!
Moving on: Eventually, you want your front shins to be parallel to the front of your mat. This is a very advanced pose, do not worry about not getting it! I am not there yet, it's okay! But that is your goal.

Once you have tried this pose, you will see why many people hate this pose. After practicing this pose for eight years, I am finally learning to love it. It makes me feel so strong because I can hold the pose without it feeling like death (haha). The feeling of when you bring that leg back up into the air is so relieving!

Courtesy of: YogaJournal
Wearing: DIY Tie Dye tank top, Power Core leggings in black from Target, unknown pink top (bottom image), Nike Pros spandex in black,  Live Towards Love Crystal Yoga Bracelets,  and Manduka Mod Pro (Extra long, limited edition) 

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