5 min Pose Breakdown – One-Legged King Pigeon

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About this video

A short tutorial showing you how to come into Salamba Kapotasana (Supported Pigeon Pose) and Eka Pāda Rājakapotāsana (One-Legged King Pigeon). Before attempting these intermediate postures the body should be fully warmed up with at least 30 minutes of Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations).

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana is actually the first in a series of four, increasingly difficult Pigeon poses and helps to boost energy in the body. Every part and inch of the body is stretched in this pose.

Benefits

  • Stretches the thighs, groins and psoas, abdomen, chest and shoulders, and neck
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs
  • Opens the shoulders and chest

Contraindications

  • Injury: Any kind of injury at the shoulders, hips, knees, ankle etc. Inflammation at the back, neck and shoulders too should be avoided. Dislocation of the shoulders.
  • Organs: A weak internal organ causing weak digestion may not help doing this pose without working on other more simpler poses for improving the digestive system. Women who are pregnant should avoid this advance pose. Someone with a weak heart and suffering from acute asthma.
  • Others: Someone suffering from deep depression and anxiety should avoid this pose. With less flexibility this pose can cause discomfort and hence work on the flexibility with the simpler variations of Supported Pigeon before getting into One-Legged King Pigeon. Someone with severe osteoporosis should avoid this as a lot of stress happens at the hip, knee and foot.

Beginner’s Tip

At first many students who learn this pose aren’t able to easily grasp the back foot directly with their hands. Take a strap with a buckle. Slip a small loop over the back foot – let’s say the left foot is extended back – and tighten the strap around the ball of the foot. Make sure the buckle is against the sole of the foot. Perform the leg position, and lay the strap on the floor along side the left leg. Bend the left knee and grasp the strap with the left hand. Swing that arm up and over your head, then reach back with the right hand. Hold the strap in both hands, and carefully walk your hands down the strap toward the foot.

Props: a blanket and belt (optional)

Duration

5 minutes or under

Level

Level 2, Level 2-3

Focus

Back, Hips, Shoulders

Practice

Pose breakdown, Yoga