Yoga is a practice that originated in ancient India and has been around for thousands of years. It is a holistic approach to physical, mental, and spiritual well-being that involves a combination of physical postures, breath control, and meditation. Yoga is designed to improve flexibility, strength, balance, and overall physical fitness. It also has been known to help people manage stress, anxiety, and depression, improve focus and concentration, and promote a sense of inner peace and well-being. Yoga is a practice that is accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels, and can be adapted to meet the needs of individuals with different physical limitations or injuries.
Yoga can be practiced in a variety of settings, including studios, gyms, community centers, and even in the comfort of your own home. There are many different styles of yoga, such as Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Ashtanga, each with their own unique focus and approach. The most important thing is to find a style and teacher that resonates with you and that you feel comfortable with.
Have you heard of pigeon pose yoga and its benefits?
Yoga is known to be essential in our everyday lives. Stress, anxiety and problems can lead to poor physical and mental health. One needs to strike a proper balance between their work and personal life. Thus, yoga can help achieve a peaceful and healthy lifestyle.
Yoga also opens the path for spirituality and healing from life. It helps in our physical and mental growth as well. Once we practice yoga in our daily lives, we can achieve spirituality.
The practise of yoga provides rest and rejuvenation for our body. According to this research, yoga can impact our lives positively. It also prevents negative effects on our physical and mental health.
Yoga aims to achieve growth for the mind, soul and body. Physical exercise includes asanas or poses, while mental focuses largely on deep breath and meditation.
Popular Asanas In Yoga
There are at least 84 asanas, or yoga poses found traditionally. All provide different benefits for our mind and body.
Here are some basic and most well – known among people:
1. Tadasana –
This is also known as the ‘Mountain Pose’ and improves focus and concentration.
2. Bhunjangasana –
Bhunjangasana is also known as the cobra Pose’ and stretches your body muscles.
3. Vriskshasana –
This asana is also known as the ‘Tree Pose’. It strengthens the legs and helps improve balance and endurance.
4. Trikonasana –
Trikonasana is also known as the ‘Triangle Pose’ and improves digestion and helps relieve stress.
5. Adho Mukha Svanasana –
This asana is also known as ‘Downward Facing Dog’. This yoga pose stimulates blood circulation.
Pigeon Pose Yoga
Pigeon pose yoga or ‘Eka Pada Rajakapotasana’ is an excellent asana for the hips. It is known to be a hip opener forward bend. It is a primary pose practised in yoga class, typically at the end of the session. It is an advanced pose taken from the Ashtanga tradition.
The name is taken from Sanskrit and represents a pigeon when you perform the pose. In pigeon yoga pose yoga, the front leg works in an external rotation, and the back leg stretches the psoas muscle.
There are three poses for the pigeon asana and can be performed one after the other:
- Basic Pigeon Pose Yoga
- Mermaid Pose
- One-Legged King Pigeon Pose yoga.
1. Benefits Of Pigeon Pose Yoga
- Pigeon pose yoga works as a hip flexors as it stretches your thighs, groins and deep glutes
- Pigeon pose also increase hip flexibility. It also improves posture and relieves stiffness from the body.
- It stimulates the internal organs and helps with urinal disorders.
- You can easily release tension in your neck and back through this pose.
2. How To Perform Pigeon Pose Yoga
There are different ways in which you can perform the asana.
Here is a step-by-step instruction to do the pose correctly:
1. Begin with the downward-facing dog asana. It must be the basic pose where your knees must be below your hips. Your hands should be slightly ahead of your shoulders.
2. From there, extend your right knee and bring it forward towards your right wrist if you are performing a lunge. Instead of actually making a lunge, bring your right knee to the floor.
The knees must face your right-hand wrist. Align your right heel forward for an intense pose, depending on the range of your motion.
3. Release your left knee and slide your left leg on the floor. Your left thigh should press onto the floor. Your left leg must be straight instead of being out on one side. You must press your five toes of the left leg onto the floor or the yoga mat.
4. Carefully lower the outer hip of the right side onto the floor. For a comfortable position, use a blanket or padding under the right side of your hip. Place your right heel in front of your left hip. Maintain equal weight in both the right and left hip.
5. Once you feel stable, bend your torso down over the right leg on the front knee.
6. Reach your forehead towards the floor. Don’t lower your head altogether, but only till the point, the position does not feel uncomfortable.
Remember to give a deep stretch and feel in the tight hips—balance weight on both hips equally as best as possible.
7. Lay your head on your hand while your torso must be on your right thigh.
8. Hold yourself into this position for 5 to 6 minutes. Inhale and exhale thoroughly.
9. Raise your upper body and place your hand below your hips on the floor. Exhale and slide your left knee forward and lift your right leg in the Downward facing dog pose.
10. Release any tension on your right hip by keeping your right leg lifted for a few seconds.
11. Repeat the same on the other side.
You can also modify the basic pigeon pose yoga with other asanas:
Bend your left knee and reach for your left foot with your left hand. Hook your hand on your bent knee. Bring your right arm up and claps the fingertips or wrist of the left hand.
One-legged King Pigeon Pose Yoga
Start by bending your left knee and reach back for the left ankle or foot with your left hand. Your left elbow must point towards the sky. After securing this position, bring your right hand and grab the left side of the foot. Your right elbow should also be pointing upward.
3. Mistakes To Avoid While Doing Pigeon Pose Yoga
- Your hips must point forward in a straight line so that your body keeps even weight on both sides.
- Use padding to prop your hips square to avoid any hip injuries.
- Flex your feet to protect your ankles from strains and sprains
- Do not keep your neck and shoulder too stiff or tensed. Relax your head on the floor and use a pillow if needed.
- If you have a knee or hip socket injury, avoid doing this asana.
Pigeon pose yoga is one of the most beneficial asanas in yoga. Not only does it provide flexibility to the body, but it also relaxes the mind. Try adding this yoga pose to your daily routine, along with other poses for an effective workout.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the pigeon pose is called the pigeon pose in yoga?
The pigeon pose in yoga, also known as “Eka Pada Rajakapotasana,” is named for its resemblance to the stretch and form of a pigeon. The pose involves stretching one leg back behind the body while the other leg is bent and brought forward, with the body folded over the forward leg. The stretched back leg represents the tail feathers of a pigeon, while the folded forward leg represents the pigeon’s head and chest. The name of the pose is a simple descriptive name to help practitioners understand the shape and movement of the pose.
In addition to the physical resemblance to a pigeon, the pigeon pose is said to have a number of benefits for the body and mind. Physically, it is a great hip opener and can help to relieve tension in the hips, lower back, and thighs. It can also help to improve flexibility in the hips, legs and spine. Mentally, it can help to calm the mind and reduce stress, as well as promoting emotional balance. Furthermore, it is also a great way to prepare for deeper backbends and more advanced yoga postures. The pigeon pose is considered an intermediate yoga posture, and should be practiced with caution if you have any knee or lower back injuries.
What yoga poses can help with arthritic knees?
Yoga can be a great way to help manage the symptoms of arthritis in the knees. Here are a few yoga poses that may be beneficial for those with arthritis in their knees:
- Child’s Pose (Balasana): This gentle, restorative pose can help to stretch the hips and thighs while also providing a gentle stretch to the knees.
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): This pose can help to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint and improve flexibility in the knee.
- Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): This pose can help to stretch the hamstrings and calf muscles, which can help to alleviate pressure on the knee joint.
- Mountain Pose (Tadasana): This pose is great for building strength in the legs, including the knees, and can also help to improve balance.
- Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II): This pose can help to build strength in the legs, hips, and core, which can help to support the knee joint.
It is important to remember that every person is different and what is comfortable for one person may not be for another. Therefore, it’s always best to check with your doctor or physical therapist before starting any new exercise regimen, including yoga. Additionally, modifications or props such as blocks, straps and blankets can be used to make the poses more comfortable and accessible.
What are some advanced poses that experienced yogis can try?
Here are a few examples of advanced yoga poses that experienced yogis may try:
- Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana): This pose requires a lot of upper body strength and balance, and is considered one of the most challenging inversions.
- Headstand (Sirsasana): This pose also requires a lot of upper body strength and balance, and is considered one of the most challenging inversions.
- Forearm Stand (Pincha Mayurasana): This pose is an advanced inversion that requires a lot of upper body and core strength, as well as balance.
- Wheel Pose (Chakrasana): This pose requires a lot of back and core strength, as well as flexibility in the spine and shoulders.
- Scorpion Pose (Vrschikasana): This pose is an advanced backbend that requires a lot of upper body and core strength, as well as flexibility in the spine and shoulders.
- Peacock Pose (Mayurasana): This pose requires a lot of core and arm strength, as well as balance.
It’s important to remember that these poses are considered advanced, and should only be attempted by experienced yogis who have a strong foundation in the basics, have developed strength and flexibility, and have a deep understanding of proper alignment and body mechanics.
It’s also important to practice with a teacher who can guide you through the proper alignment and technique, and to listen to your body and stop if you experience any pain or discomfort.