How to Do King Pigeon Pose

Elegant, exuberant, graceful, wow! These are just some words that come to mind when seeing a yogi in full King Pigeon Pose.

This pose is not suitable for everyone. Raja Kapotasana can be elusive for many experienced yogis. This is also true for the author of this article. Only on a truly, truly good day can I achieve King Pigeon.

Getting Started

To prepare for this pose, you will need to open your hips, back, shoulders, chest, and quads. This is a long list of asanas. Raja Kapotasana should be attempted at the end of practice. Poses like the Crescent Lunge pose, Cow Face Pose (also known as Garland Pose), Camel Pose, and Lizard Lunge all serve as great precursors for King Pigeon.

I also recommend using a belt for a few weeks until you get used to the asana.

How to:

Start by putting yourself in the Pigeon Pose. Start with your right leg in front and the left behind. Keep your hips squarely on the mat.

As you gently guide the right femur back, ensure that your knee is protected. If your right shinbone is parallel to the front of the yoga mat in Pigeon Pose, you can flex your right foot. For a few deep breaths, hold Pigeon Pose.

Slowly walk your hands backward until you reach the sides of your hips. Your body should be upright. Here, take a few deep breaths. Try to raise the sternum upwards on the inhale. When you exhale, try rolling the shoulder blades downwards. Engage mulabandha and gently point the tailbone toward the ground. This will help to relieve tension in the lower back.

Bend your back knee. Begin by hooking your left big toe in the left elbow crease. You can also hold the foot down and push it downward to stretch the quad. Lift your right arm off the ground to test your balance, and if you can, look it up.

If you’re using a strap to hold the shoe, wrap the strap around your left foot. If you are not using a strap, loop the strap around the left foot. Continue reaching out and grab the big toe. Climb the hand as high as possible to hold as much foot as you can.

Draw the left elbow towards the body as if you were gesturing “YES!” Then, push the elbow up and forward in front of your face.

Roll your shoulders up and down. Lift your heart!

Take your right arm, circle it upwards, and bend the elbow to try and grab your left wrist or strap. Once you have this down, walk your fingers along the strap until you reach the left foot.

Draw the shoulder blades back again and raise the heart. Draw your elbows together, and tilt the head back so that the crown of the neck touches the toes.

To achieve the goal of King Pigeon, you will need patience, practice, and a good warm-up. It may still not be a reachable goal for everyone. Start from where you are. Enjoy every moment of your journey.

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