Pigeon Prep opens the hips and releases the low back bringing oh so much relief to your low back!
Yoga Pose: Pigeon Prep
Difficulty level: Easy to Medium
- Improves external rotation of the hip/femur joints
- Stretches the hip flexors
- Releases and lengthens the psoas
This version of Eka Pada Rajokapotasana (King Pigeon) is much more accessible, but still requires proper alignment to protect the knees and sacrum.
Begin in Down Dog. As you inhale, press your left foot firmly into the ground and draw your straight right leg up behind you. Exhale, then draw the bent right leg high into your abdomen and place the right knee just outside of and behind your right hand. Tuck your right foot back towards your left thigh. Press the toes of your right foot firmly into the mat (to maintain muscular energy up the leg). Behind your next exhale, draw your left hip down onto the top of the right foot.
Stretch your left leg on the mat directly extending out from your left hip. Tuck your left toes and lift the left thigh off the mat. As you untuck your toes, lay the thigh flat on the mat, parallel to the long edge of your mat, then lay your toes flat on the mat.
Inhale and draw your upper inner thighs towards each other, lifting your pelvis slightly away from the floor and walking your hands towards your legs on the mat. With your next inhale, lift your spine long, pressing up through the crown of your head.
Behind your next exhale, bend your elbows, drawing your upper body towards the floor. Your back should remain flat (hips the same height from the mat) as you lower your upper body towards the mat.
If your hips are tight, and the sensation in your outer hip or inner thigh is too intense to allow relaxing into the pose, place a bolster running from the pelvis parallel to the back leg, or place a block under the right hip.
To deepen the pose, create a support for your head with the bolster, a block, or your palms stacked on top of each other. Gently rest your head on the support and breathe deeply as you relax into the pose.