Fitness and Exercise

Tips on how to Do Pigeon Pose in Yoga (Kapotasana)

In practically a decade of instructing yoga, I’ve but to come across a pupil who’s lukewarm on pigeon pose. Yoga college students both love this hip opener or hate it.

Pigeon pose, or Kapotasanafeels wonderful while you do it proper — the entrance leg externally rotates to stretch the hip, whereas the again leg affords the flexors a very good stretch — so it’s price studying tips on how to safely set it up.

“Pigeon pose is not a one-position-fits-all exercise,” says Stephanie Saunders, vp of health programming for BODi and a licensed yoga teacher.

Kapotasana is a variation on king pigeon pose (eka to the king), a one-legged backbend from ashtanga yoga‘s fourth sequence (which really offers a unique pose the identify Kapotasana).

In the case of pigeon pose, yoga is stuffed with variations, like seated pigeon, reclined pigeon, and even flying pigeon pose.

And why do we name it pigeon pose? Whenever you’re within the upright place of Kapotasanayour chest is lifted identical to a pigeon’s. Right here’s tips on how to get there safely and successfully.

Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana): Step-by-Step Directions

We’ll stroll by each the upright and forward-bend variations of Kapotasana.

  • Get on all fours, along with your arms shoulder-width and knees hip-width aside.
  • Convey your proper knee ahead, putting it on the ground behind your proper wrist.
  • Slide your proper ankle towards your left wrist, so your proper shin crosses your mat at a cushty angle.
  • Prolong your left leg straight again and slowly decrease your hips to the ground. The highest of your left foot needs to be flat on the ground.
  • Hold your hips stage, along with your weight evenly distributed between them (keep away from sinking into your proper hip).
  • From right here, you possibly can both stay upright — retaining your arms on the ground in entrance of you, your chest up, and your core engaged — or you possibly can fold ahead, slowly strolling your arms out in entrance of you and reducing your chest to the ground.
  • Maintain the pose for five to 10 breaths, then swap sides and repeat.
  • To come back out of the pose, tuck your left toes below, press into your arms, and slowly deliver your proper foot again to the beginning place.

Tips on how to Make Pigeon Pose Simpler

If in case you have tight hips or encounter discomfort in your knees or lower backthere are many modifications you are able to do to make pigeon pose simpler.

  • Use a block or folded blanket below the hip of your bent leg to assist maintain the load balanced between either side of the pelvis.
  • Use blocks below your arms when upright, or a bolster below your chest when folding ahead.
  • Flex the toes of your bent leg to maintain your knee supported.

Tips on how to Make Pigeon Pose More durable

If in case you have comfortable hips that love the stretch in pigeon pose, right here’s how one can go deeper.

Woman Holds King Pigeon | Pigeon Pose

  • Work the entrance shin nearer to parallel with the entrance of your mat (so long as there isn’t any discomfort in your knee).
  • Whereas activating your adductors (internal thighs), come onto your fingertips — or problem your steadiness by lifting your arms overhead.
  • Bend your again leg, and attain for the highest of your foot for a deeper hip flexor stretch, shoulder opener, and backbend.

Newbie Ideas for Doing Pigeon Pose

In case you’re new to pigeon pose, begin gradual and take heed to your physique. Be sure your entrance knee is comfy. You must by no means really feel ache or stretching in your internal knee, hip joints or decrease again.

In case you do, come out of the pose and begin once more, specializing in externally rotating your femur within the hip socket.

Resist the urge to line up your shin with the highest of your mat. Whereas this alignment cue is taken into account “ideal,” Saunders says, “this can put pressure on the knee, especially if there is any restriction in the hip joint.” So select a place in your shin that retains your knee secure.

Advantages of Pigeon Pose

Pigeon pose stretches each the hip flexors on the entrance of the thigh and pelvis (together with the psoas) and your hip rotators on the again/aspect of the pelvis (together with the piriformis).

It additionally will increase vary of movement of the femur within the hip socket.

Pigeon pose helps heat up the physique for backbends or seated poses that require exterior hip rotation, like lotus pose.

It’s additionally useful for the again. “We know that increasing flexibility in the hips and pelvis can help with sciatica and back pain,” says Saunders.

Take your observe additional with BODi’s Yoga52a set of 52 elegantly-produced yoga lessons from newbie to skilled taught by 5 of the world’s main yoga instructors.

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