Learn how to safely do pigeon pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) for absolute beginners.
This hip opener is so therapeutic and feels REALLY good if you have tight hips and leg muscles, but it’s super easy to injure yourself if you’re not doing it correctly. In this yoga pose breakdown, I walk you through pigeon pose so that you can enter it correctly, find what feels good and avoid injury. Watch this video, take your time, learn with me, and modify as needed. From our home to your home, let’s yoga together!
Optional Props: Yoga Block, Yoga Blanket
Pigeon Pose specifically works as a hip opener and forward bend, stretching your psoas, piriformis, back, groin, thighs. It is a good antidote to sitting for long periods and it helps prepare you for seated postures and backbends.
1. Start on your hands and knees.
2. Lift your right leg up and bring your right knee to the floor right behind your right wrist. The right shin may angel back towards the left hip or be more parallel to the front of your mat, depending on your range of motion (take your time as a little goes a long way!).
3. Slide your back left leg directly behind you, untuck your toes and press into the top of your back foot so that your leg is active. Take a look backward and make sure that your left foot is pointing straight back.
4. Square your hips towards the front of your mat and be sure to flex that front foot.
5. Place a yoga blanket or block under the right side of your hip as necessary to make the pose more comfortable.
6. If you feel stable, bring your torso down into a forward bend over your right leg. Feel free to rest your head or hands on a yoga block for support if needed. If this is too much, stay upright.
7. Continue squaring your hips and breathing into any tightness.
8. Come back up into hands and knees.
9. Repeat the pose on the other side.
Remember these Tips & Modifications
1. Remember to keep the hips square and use props as needed. Don’t collapse onto the hip of the front bent knee.
2. Your back leg should be in a neutral position rather than rotated outward. Be sure to take a peek at that back leg and foot while in the pose and keep that leg active with awareness there too.
3. To make this posture more comfortable (and more effective) feel free to use a block or blanket under the bottom of the front leg. It’s important to evenly distribute your weight between both hips and keep them square toward the ground. Otherwise, you will be placing stress on the knee.
4. If the forward bend is difficult, use a block under your forearms and/or under your forehead. Try to create a support system of props that allows you to relax into your forward bend.
Avoid this pose if you have any knee injury or hip problem. You should not feel any stress on the knee. You will feel a great stretch along the front of the hip, but it should not be painful.