Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Name: Pigeon Pose 
Sanskrit: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Pronunciation:
Pose Level: (Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced)


Step-by-Step:
Stretch your leg muscles by practicing the lizard pose for a few breaths. It will allow you to stretch your hamstrings and perform the position better.

Enter the face down dog asana. Bend the knee of the right leg and bring it forward, almost touching the throat, then push the leg back, controlling the action with the heel, so as to find yourself with the right leg in the sky, in the three-legged dog.

Push your palms against the floor. Go to the left forefoot and then come down again with the left heel on the ground: this will allow you to create more space in the hip flexors. Slowly bring your right leg forward with the knee bent: when making this transition do not forget to keep the hip wide open to the outside. Place your shin in front of your torso and bring your right foot in line with your left knee. The hands are resting on the mat and the left leg extended backwards, straight and snug against the mat.

It is important that the torso is straight and does not tend to turn to the left. If you feel pain, bend the knee of the right leg to be more comfortable in the position.

Make a slight "point break" movement with the pelvis (unrolls the spine) and slowly bring the hands forward, bending the back and resting the belly against the left knee. This flexion will help you stretch your hamstrings better. The goal is to bring the outer side of the right buttock as close as possible to the floor.

Return your torso to an upright position and hold for a few breaths. Do the pigeon pose from the left side as well.


Benefits:
allows you to stretch the psoas muscle.
    stretches the middle and small buttocks.
    helps to stretch the pecs.
    opens the shoulder girdle.
    promotes an upright posture.
    facilitates the release of stress and tension.

Pose Modifications

Take Eka Pada Rajakapotasana from the right side. Bend the left rear leg and bring the left arm backwards.

Pass your left hand behind the inner side of the ankle and grasp the toe with your fingers. Relax, take a few breaths and try to master the position.

If you feel no pain, bring your right arm back and grab your toes. Make sure your shoulders are aligned as much as possible with the front of the mat and your torso straight.

Hold for a few breaths and repeat on the left side.


Contraindications:
If you have hip, knee or lower back problems, it is best to avoid it altogether, unless recommended by a healthcare professional. Women who are pregnant or with mild to moderate musculoskeletal injuries should speak to their doctor first.

In addition, there is a growing concern that this asana may overstretch the tendons of the buttocks, which attach themselves to the hip bones. Over time, according to some studies, this pose can weaken the tendons and cause hip problems.

Among other risks, we also point out possible injuries to the knee, due to excessive pressure on the knees. To avoid problems, it is best to place a folded towel under the buttocks and thigh to improve the positioning of the hips and knees. This will reduce the pressure and the risk of injury

Poses Commonly Transitioned too:
One legged downward facind dog, Downward facing dog 
Poses Commonly Used Before Hand:
Fire Log Pose ( Agnistambhasana) , Reclining Leg Cradle

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