Extended One-Legged Pigeon

Utthita Eka Pada Kapotasana

Level: Intermediate

Instructions

1. From the Table or Down Dog, slide the right knee forward between the hands and let the right foot slide over to the left. Slide the left leg back, lowering the hips towards the floor.

2. Slowly walk the hands forward to lower the torso and head to the floor. If the head doesn’t touch the floor, support it with stacked hands or fists.

3. Move as deep into the posture as you can while still maintaining full deep breathing. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

4. To release: slowly walk the hands back under your shoulders and you slide the right knee back into Table or step the right foot back into Down Dog.

5. Repeat on other side.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Extended Pigeon pose deeply opens the hips and groin. This forward folding pose is calming and deeply introspective.

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

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: A) Place a folded blanket underneath the hip of the bent knee to keep the hips level. B) Use a yoga block under the forehead. C) Adjust the level of stretch in the hips by how close the foot of the bent knee is to the hips; bring it closer to the hips for less stretch, slide it away for more stretch.

Variations: Twisted Pigeon – with the right knee forward slide the left arm in front of the knee to the right. Reach the right arm up and around your back, and if possible hold onto the right foot.

Vinyasa

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Down Dog, Table.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Extended Pigeon, Down Dog, Table, Ardha matsyendrasana B.

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