The one-legged pigeon pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana is beneficial for those with tight hips. Sports like running and jumping, sitting for long periods of time can make the outer hips tight and shorten and stiffen the front hip flexors. This pose is a powerful hip-opener that can help increase flexibility and the range of motion in the hip joints.
Many people have tight hips. Sports like running and jumping can make the outer hips tight, as well as, sitting for long periods of time which can shorten and stiffen the front hip flexors. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, One-Legged King Pigeon Pose (or “Pigeon Pose”) is a powerful hip opener that can help increase flexibility and the range of motion in the hip joints. Although this pose is not part of the Ashtanga Primary Series, I still enjoy the many restorative benefits this pose offers.
Variation In The One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
For a more restorative variation (like the picture), drape your torso over your front shin. Stretch your arms forward along the mat or allow your forehead to rest on your hands, a folded blanket, or a yoga block. Also, allow your body weight to rest on your front leg as you continue to square your hips.
Benefits Of One Legged Pigeon Pose
To experience the benefits of Pigeon Pose, it’s important to keep your mind calm while maintaining alignment. The further forward your front heel is, the deeper and more intense the pose will be. Some beginners might bend their front knee deeply. Over time, with practice and patience, you will be able to bring your shin more parallel to the front edge of the mat. Keep your front foot flexed to help protect your knee. Keep your back thigh internally rotated. Try to press all five toes of your back foot onto the mat.
Take your time. Pigeon Pose can bring up emotional resistance than other, less intense poses. If you are feeling uncomfortable, relax, take a deep breath and let go. Your flexibility will increase with time, don’t force it. Be patient and accept the present moment.
Who Should Not Do This Pose?
Do not try this pose if you have chronic knee, ankle, or sacroiliac injury. Women who are pregnant should not practice the restorative version of the pose; they should keep their torso upright. Always work within your own range and abilities. If you have any medical conditions talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.