This week’s yoga pose was one of our requests from last week, Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana). Our yoga instructor Stacia Nero of Deliver Me Wellness demonstrates how to do the pose and explains its many benefits!
Everyone can benefit from the hip opener known as Pigeon Pose, or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. Stress and tension can build up in the hips and create tightness, and practicing this pose can make for supple, more flexible hips.
How to do Pigeon Pose:
- Start on all fours in a squared table pose.
- Slide the left knee forward toward your left hand. Angle your left knee at two o’clock.
- Slide your right leg back as far as your hips will allow.
- Keep your hips square to the floor. If your hips are not square, there will be unnecessary force on your back, and you won’t be able to open the hips to their fullest.
- If you’re not feeling a deep stretch in your left glute, slide the left foot forward–little by little–toward your right hand. With practice, bring your foot parallel with the front edge of your mat.
- Your left thigh should have an external rotation, and your right thigh should have a slight internal rotation. This keeps pressure off the knee cap.
- Depending on how you feel, you will be upright on your hands while sinking the hips forward and down. Level two will rest on their forearms, and level three will rest the chest on the floor with the arms fully extended in front of you.
- To get full release in the hips, breathe and release the belly. Stay in this position anywhere from 10 breaths to five minutes.
- Repeat on both sides.
Bend the back (right) knee and bring the foot up towards your body, pressing the foot towards your body with your right hand. Bring left hand upwards towards the ceiling. (see animated gif at top of post). Repeat on both sides.
Tuck the right arm behind the back (right) foot, arching your back, bring your left arm up and behind your head, hooking fingers with the right hand. Release and extend left arm towards ceiling. Repeat on both sides.
More advanced students can attempt this variation, in which you bend the back (right) knee bringing your foot upwards towards the body. Arch your back and reach both arms over your head, grasping the back foot. Repeat on both sides.
Benefits of Pigeon Pose:
- Stimulate the internal organs.
- Stretch deep glutes.
- Stretch groins and psoas (a long muscle on the side of your vertebral column and pelvis).
- Relieve impinged piriformis and alleviate sciatic pain
- Help with urinary disorders
- Offer emotional release
Stacia teaches classes here at the Navy Yard Tuesdays 6:30 – 7:30 and Friday 12:15 – 1pm – check her out on Facebook here to find out where else you can find her!
Photos by Julia.
See last week’s pose, Warrior! And if you have requests or questions for Stacia, leave them in the comments below!
More yoga posts from the BLDG 25 Blog.