Pigeon pose

Ardha Kapotasana

Categories:
Forward bend, Twist, Hip opener

The pigeon pose works on stretching and strengthening the legs, hips and spine.

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Step by step explanation

The pigeon pose can be done by

  1. Begin on your hands and knees.
  2. Bring your right knee to the front, just behind your right hand and place the outside of your right foot on the floor, close to your left hand.
  3. Now slowly lower your right knee down, while sliding your left leg back behind you, with the top of your left foot on the floor. If you need, you can support your right hip with a blanket or cushion.
  4. Ground the palms of your hands close to your hips and start to lengthen and lift your pelvic floor muscles, lower belly, and upper body.
  5. From here, see if you can start to pull the chest slightly up, while you keep dropping the weight of your shoulders down. You want to keep your neck aligned with your spine and keep the chin slightly tucked into your chest.
  6. Keep activating your back leg and draw the right hip back, as the left hip reaches a little forward.
  7. Stay in this position for at least five long and deep breaths, with the gaze of your eyes looking softly down in front of you.
  8. Release the position by pressing into the palms of your hands and lifting the hips to come back towards your hands and knees. From here, change and do the left side.
  9. Bring your left knee to the front just behind your left hand and place the outside of your left foot on the floor close to your right hand.
  10. Now slowly lower your left knee down, while sliding your right leg back behind you, with the top of your right foot on the floor. Again, if you need you can support your right hip with a blanket or cushion.
  11. Ground the palms of your hands close to your hips and start to lengthen and lift your pelvic floor muscles, lower belly, and upper body.
  12. Again, see if you can start to pull the chest slightly up, while you keep dropping the weight of your shoulders down. You want to keep your neck aligned with your spine and keep the chin slightly tucked into your chest.
  13. Keep activating your back leg and draw the left hip back as the right hip reaches a little forward.
  14. Stay in this position for at least five long and deep breaths, with the gaze of your eyes looking softly down in front of you.
  15. Release the position by pressing into the palms of your hands and lifting the hips to come back towards your hands and knees.

Cautions

Read the following cautions to stay safe

  • Do not perform this exercise when you have a knee or ankle injury.
  • If you are concerned about anything of this pose, please contact your physician on whether this practice is good for you.

Making the pose easier

  • You can make this position easier by supporting the hip with a rolled-up blanket or one or two cushions.
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Suggested preparation poses

Suggested follow-up poses