Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)

Key Benefits

Stretches the thighs, groin and buttocks/glutes

Opens the chest and shoulders

Stimulates the abdominal organs

Instructions

From Down Dog, Step your right foot to your left wrist. Lower your back knee to the floor and flatten your back foot. Slide your right heel towards your left hip and at the same time, lower your right knee to the floor behind your right wrist. sallow your hips to move towards the floor as you slide your back leg out behind you.

Inhale; press into your fingertips and lift your heart centre. Lengthen your spine and fell your ribcage lifting up out of your waist area.

Exhale; soften and ground down through your base- your legs, buttocks, pelvis and hands.

Continue breathing, relaxing deeper into the stretch with every exhalation. Focus on keeping your left hip rolling down whilst lengthening your lower back upwards.

Hold the pose for at least 5 full breaths. Work your way up to 10-15 breaths.

To come out of the pose: exhale; take your weight on to your back knee and press down into your fingertips as you lift up through your core (draw your navel in and your pelvic floor up). Slide your front knee forward between your hands. Come back on to all fours, tuck your toes under and lift up into Down Dog.

Repeat on the opposite side.

Modifications & Variations 

For an easy version, come into the pose from Cat position. Place your right knee on the floor in between your hands. Lower your buttocks to your heel and lengthen your left leg back. Press your fingertips into the floor, lift your chest and lengthen your spine. Practice the pose with your hips elevated by your heel. This is also the safest option for those with knee troubles.

SLEEPING PIGEON: When you have come into full pigeon, leading with your heart, take the weight of your torso into your fingertips and slowly lower your torso down towards the floor In front of you. Options for your arms include:

Stretch your arms out long; reach your back foot and your fingertips in opposite directions to energise the pose.

Place one hand on top of the other and rest your forehead on your hands to make the pose a restorative exercise.

To intensify the pose, move the foot of your front leg away from your hip. The further you move it away, the more of a stretch you will experience in your buttock/glute. Remember to keep your hips square with the front of the mat- don’t allow your back hip to turn upwards when you make any adjustments.

 

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