Asana of the Month – Pigeon Pose

each month we choose a pose to focus on in each class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons.

Yoga teacher and Yoga Journal columnist Natasha Rizopoulos writes that “some hip openers increase the external, or outward, rotation of the [thigh] bone in the hip socket. Others lengthen the psoas muscle, a primary hip flexor connecting the torso and legs that gets chronically shortened in our chair-bound society. Pigeon Pose is an extremely effective hip opener that addresses both areas, with the front leg working in external rotation and the back leg in position to stretch the psoas.” To avoid injury, she suggests approaching Pigeon by first doing variations that will open the hips gradually and safely. Once your hips are open, you’ll be more likely to be able to come into a well-balanced Pigeon Pose that benefits both your hips and lower back. With consistent practice, you may notice more ease in your lower body as you sit, walk, and stand.

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose):
Eka = one
Pada = foot or leg
Raja = king
Kapota = pigeon or dove

Benefits (according to Yoga Journal):
• Stretches the thighs, groins and psoas, abdomen, chest and shoulders, and neck
• Stimulates the abdominal organs
• Opens the shoulders and chest
• Therapeutic for urinary disorders

Cautions/Contraindications:
• Sacroiliac injury
• Knee or ankle injury

Preparatory Poses:
• Baddha Konasana
• Bhujangasana
• Gomukhasana
• Utthita Parsvakonasana
• Utthita Trikonasana
• Virasana

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