How to do One-legged King Pigeon pose:

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

Make sure you warm up your hips before going to this asana.

Instructions

1. Start from Down Dog. Lift your right leg up and back, keeping your hips square. Bring your right knee to your right elbow and place the foot down on the mat as close to your left wrist as you can. Place your knee down on the floor. Lower the hips towards the floor. If your hips are tight, place the block under your right hip.
2. Press down firmly into the palms and fingertips, inhale and reach the crown of the head up, lengthening the spine and opening up through the chest. Exhale and sink the hips down into the floor.
3. Bend your left knee and reach back for your left foot with your left hand. Draw your foot towards your butt, stretching your left thigh. If you are doing the bind, make sure you keep opening up through the chest and maintain the length through your spine.
4. ADVANCED variation is to hold the left foot with both arms, opening through the chest.
5. Wherever you are – keep breathing and hold for 3-6 breaths. Release your left foot, curl your left toes under and step back to downward facing dog or optional Swan-dive flow through.
6. Repeat on the left side.

 

Benefits

  • Opens your hip flexor muscles (psoas, rectus femoris) and your groin muscles.
  • Opens your hip rotator muscles (gluteus medius & minimus).
  • May relieve sciatic nerve tension and ease chronic low back pain.
  • Advanced version opens your chest and shoulders.
  • Traditionally thought to increase circulation to urinary, digestive, and reproductive systems.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic back, knee, or hip injury or inflammation.

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Written by: Ksenia

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