Welcome to the second installment of Yoga Pose Basics! This month, we’re taking a look at pigeon pose - one of everyone’s favorites. ;) It’s a wonderful hip opener and a great stretch for your legs (and booty).
Correct form for pigeon pose
When into pigeon pose, the angle of your leg will depend on your flexibility. Typically, most people fall between a 45 to 90 degree angle in the leg they are stretching. Your other leg will fall straight behind you.
You can then either reach your arms above you and bend back (like the image above), hold up your upper body with your hands, of fold down to your forearms. To further the stretch even more, you can fold down entirely reaching your arms out over the front of your mat, or you can rest your forehead on your stacked hands.
You can then practice the bound version, called One-Legged King Pigeon, where you reach one arm above you while the other reaches behind to grab your foot (you’ll bend your back leg up toward your outreaching hand).
You can also use a block to prop up your hips, if they cannot reach the floor. You can also use a strap to assist and grow your practice to include the bound version.
Benefits of pigeon pose
Pigeon pose, as we’ve said, is a great hip opener, and is a great way for you to stretch our your glutes. Sitting all day tightens our hips a great deal, and this pose is a great way to address and show our hips some love. This pose also aids in digestion and helps to stimulate your abdominal organs.
Any pose that opens the hips can bring up strong emotions - we hold a lot of stress in our hips. So crying, frustration and even anger may come up when you’re in pigeon pose. Remember, it’s natural. Embrace it, acknowledge it, take a deep breath, and continue with your practice. In fact, this pose will help you to relieve stress. At the end of the day, that’s a win.