Finding Joy in Movement

Upavista Kapotasana/ Seated Pigeon

This relatively simple pose can be deeply satisfying and is an excellent way to cultivate an awareness of your outer hip. (note: There are many different variations that various people call seated pigeon. This is just one of them)

Begin in Dandasa. Bend the left leg and bring the left foot either into the right hand or the inner right elbow. Take the left hand to the knee or if available, wrap the left arm around the leg and clasp hands in front. With both sit bones firmly grounded into the mat, extend through the right heel and press the back of the right thigh into the floor. To begin, draw the middle of the shin in toward the sternum so that the left shin is perpendicular to the right leg.

Sit up as tall as you can and stay open across the front of the shoulders. You want to avoid slouching in the lower back as this can put strain on the spine and also denies you the stabilizing core work of this pose. If your hamstrings are tight, you can bend the right knee to release the hamstrings, allowing you to sit up straighter.

Since the leg isn’t static here, you can move the knee side to side and even change the angle of the knee to explore different angles of stretch. By exploring different positions you can observe which areas of your outer hip are open and mobile and which areas feel tight and might need a little extra attention. Developing this awareness in the seated variation can help you find the best angle for you when taking King Pigeon Pose.

Once you find an angle that works for you, stay here for as long as you like, making sure to sit up as tall as you can the entire time. When you are done, switch sides and hold for the same amount of time.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!

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