How To Do Pigeon Pose And What Are Its Benefits : Kapotasana

Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose is an asana.The name comes from the Sanskrit words kapota meaning “pigeon”, and asana meaning “posture”. When one assumes the pose, it looks just as graceful as the bird is. With this asana, you will find more freedom and energy in your spine and your mind. It has a whole lot of benefits and also gives your body a good stretch. It is a must to include this asana in your yoga practice.

What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana

This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Do not practice this pose if you have a recent or chronic knee, ankle, or sacroiliac injury. Women who are pregnant should not practice the restorative version of the pose; they should keep their torso upright. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities.


How To Do The Kapotasana : Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Start the practice by assuming the Ustrasana.

2. Inhale and lift the lower part of your belly up. But ensure you pull it in before you raise it. While you do this, move your tailbone downwards to stabilize the lower back. Gently exhale.

3. Inhale, and pull up both your arms, such that they are along your ears. You could bring your palms together if possible. Exhale and then move backward, making sure your lower back is long but stable. Make sure there is no pain or strain. Inhale and then go further, sternum first.

4. Gently lift your shoulders and squeeze your elbows towards each other. Move your head back, and hold the pose for at least five breaths.

5. Inhale again, and let your arms reach the floor. Press your feet into the floor, and then bend the knees only as much as it is necessary to reach the palms of the hands, reaching outside each foot. Keep moving backward as you check with your lower back from time to time.

6. Walk your hands backward towards your knees so that the fingers meet the heels. Once they do, clutch them tightly.

7. Now as you hold both your feet, squeeze the elbows towards each other, and push the hip forward while keeping the space and length of your lower back intact.

8. As you exhale, bend your elbows and fix them on the floor. Hold the position for about 30 seconds to one minute, or as long as you are comfortable.

9. Gently come out from the posture while keeping your breath normal. Roll on your spine and assume the Balasana or the child’s pose before you come back to normal.

Beginner’s Tip

If you are a beginner, you could use the support of a wall to get this pose right. Press your soles to the wall, and using your head to grip your hands, gently lean backward. Then place your crown on the wall and push your forearms against it. This will make the practice a lot easier.

Modifications & Variations

To take this asana to another level, you could use a chair. But remember to be extremely cautious, and practice these pigeon pose variations only under expert guidance.

  •  Assume this pose by doing the inverted staff position over the chair.
  • Then, slip your legs beneath the chair, and clasp your hands on to the legs of the chair.
  • Be gentle as you assume the position and come out of it.
  • If you are using the chair to do this asana, make sure you hold the position for two to five minutes.

Benefits Of The Kapotasana

  • Stretches the entire front of the body, the ankles, thighs and groins, bdomen and chest, and throat
  • Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas)
  • Strengthens back muscles
  • Improves posture
  • Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck

Preparatory Poses

Setu Bandha
Supta Virasana
Urdhva Dhanurasana
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

Follow-Up Poses

Bharadvajasana I
Adho Mukha Svanasana

In yoga, it is often taught that opening the hips opens up the rest of the body. Practice stretching your hips every day, and always modify the poses if you need to. Never force yourself beyond your current ability — practice the pose you can do, not the one you wish you could do! With time, patience, and dedication, your muscles will relax and lengthen, benefiting your whole body in activities on and off the mat!

For Better Understanding Watch this Video

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