The yoga pigeon pose, also known as the one-legged king pigeon pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, is valuable for increasing range of motion in the hip joints. In the advanced version of the pose, a yoga practitioner can touch her rear foot to the back of her head.
- Prepare to enter the pose
Start in a squared table pose, on hands and knees. Slide the left knee toward your left hand, and angle it outward. Slide your right leg back as far as you can, letting your hips open as you slide. Keep your hips squared, your left thigh slightly rotated outward and your left thigh slightly rotated inward. This keeps pressure off your kneecaps.
- Adjust torso
Balance with your fingertips as you press your torso up while simultaneously allowing your hips to sink down. Keep your hips and torso squared toward the front of your yoga mat. Allow your tailbone to relax while maintaining a stretch through the front of your torso. More advanced levels of this part of the pose include resting forward on the forearms or laying the chest on the floor with arms extended forward.
- Breathe, and hold the pose
Look downward, and breathe. Hold the pose for anywhere from 10 breaths to five full minutes. Release the pose by lifting your right knee off the map and moving to downward facing dog. Do the pigeon pose on the other side.