Mountain Pose
March 29, 2015
Peacock Pose
March 29, 2015

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

, ,

Pose Type

, ,

Sanskrit

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
(eh-kah pah-dah RAH-jah-
kah-poh-TAHS-anna)
eka = one
pada = foot or leg
raja = king
kapota = pigeon or dove

BENEFITS

  • Stretches the hip flexors, quadriceps, and lower back
  • Opens the shoulders and chest
  • Rejuvenates the spine
  • Brings fresh blood to the pelvic region
  • Brings fresh blood to the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Knee, spinal, or lower back injuries
  • Dislocated shoulder

HOW TO

  1. Begin in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog). Bring your right knee to the floor just behind your right hand. Try to bring your shin parallel to the front of your mat. Flex your right foot.
  2. Lower your left knee to the floor and slide your left leg back. Come onto your fingertips and walk your hands back until they’re next to your hips. Lengthen your spine.
  3. Bend your left knee so the toes are pointing toward the sky.
  4. Inhale and reach your right arm toward the sky. Then exhale, bend the elbow, and grasp the left big toe from above. Keep your elbow pointing up. Find your balance here.
  5. Inhale and reach your left arm toward the sky. Then exhale, bend the elbow, and grasp the foot. Move your right hand grip from your big toe to the side of your foot.
  6. Push your chest forward and lower the top of your head to the sole of your foot.
  7. Stay in the pose for several breaths. Then carefully release your hands and lower your foot. Place your palms on the floor and step back to Downward-Facing Dog. Change sides.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

  • Reclining Pigeon pose

Modifications:

  • Rather than holding the foot with both hands, hold the big toe with one hand and the wrist with the other hand.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Point your tailbone toward the floor.
  • Maintain lift by scissoring the thighs toward each other.
  • Draw your navel inward.
  • Lift your back ribs.
  • Point your elbows toward the sky.

VARIATIONS

  • Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II (One-Legged King Pigeon pose II)