Pigeon Pose

(Eka pada rajakapotasana)

Feeling a little sad about the passing of Chris Cornell as he was one of my teen crushes so I picked this pose because it’s a great pose for emotional release. It’s also one of my faves and one of my original teachers must’ve loved it because it was always in his flow!

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Pigeon Pose

Moving from downward dog, inhale and lift your right leg to the sky. On the exhale, bring the leg through to the front and send your right ankle to your left wrist, bringing your hips to the ground. Try to align with the short edge of your mat or bring your foot back towards your hip, whatever is the most comfortable for you. Have a look behind you and ensure your back leg is coming straight from the hip. Keep your focus on your breath as you build your base and find balance in your hips by edging your left side to the mat, keeping you hips square. Spend some time with your torso upright, looking with soft focus. Inhale and slowly lower down to sleeping pigeon. You might like to make some minor adjustments to find your comfort. Breathe into the pose as your rest. You may rest your head on a block, on your fists or on the mat. After around 30 seconds, slowly bring your weight over your toes on your left foot as you transition back to three legged dog and back to downward dog. Repeat this sequence with the left leg swinging forward.

Modifications and Considerations:

  • If your knees are sensitive, thread the needle on your back opens the hips in a more passive way
  • You can put a cushion or bolster under your hip for better balance and support

The Good Stuff:

  • Lengthens hip flexors
  • Great preparations for back bends and seated postures
  • Engages core to balance
  • Stretches thighs, psoas and groin
  • Calming for the mind
  • Positive implications for women’s reproductive organs
  • Great for those who sit at a desk all day

The Philosophy:

  • Consciously connect with the energy that courses through your body
  • As you release into this pose notice the feelings that arise, acknowledge and let go
  • Surrender into this pose and know that you are safe and supported
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