Pigeon Pose

Yoga Pigeon PoseYou do not have to practice yoga to get the multiple benefits of this exercise. It targets the groin, thighs and the ever difficult to reach psoas. It can be done to really focus on stretching all these muscles and strengthening the stabilizing muscles or you can do this move passively and just allow your body weight and gravity to take over and possibly spend a few moments in peaceful meditation. If you have low back issues or excessively tight muscles – refer to the easier modifications. Starting in a downward dog, step the right foot forward between your hands and place your leg down so that the right knee is by the right wrist and the foot is by the left wrist, resting the outer part of the right shin on the floor. Keep the left leg straight and make sure it is not angled out to the left but directly behind you. Slowly lower you hips until you feel the stretch. To keep the stretch active, keep the left toe curled under and the left leg lifted. For a passive stretch, flatten the left foot, and allow the left leg to relax to the floor. Using your arms you can either press down and straighten your torso or come to your forearms or place your forehead over folded hands. Breathe 3-5 deep breaths before your slowly come out of the pose and back to a down dog for 3 breaths and repeat on the left side.

Notes: Listen to your body and only move as deep into the pose as your body will allow. Muscle tightness/flexibility and anatomical structure all affect the extent that we are able to do various exercises.

Easier: If you have lower back issues, try doing this pose on an incline such as a bed. Start the move standing in front of your bed and bringing the right leg up on the bed in the pose. This will take out much of the gravity and body weight. The softer surface of the mattress will be a little more forgiving on your joints. If muscle tightness is preventing you from getting your bent knee all the way down to the floor, place a pillow or rolled up towel underneath the bent knee and that will allow you to enter the pose more readily without having to exert the energy to “protect” that tight spot.

Harder: Once you can lie across your bent thigh and do not need your arms for support, lengthen both arms over head and hold this for 3 breaths. Straighten the torso tall and again, if the support of your arms is not needed you can “square off” your hips so that both hips are level and then reach both arms high over head and breathe.

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.


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