Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose) is an intermediate back bend Yoga pose that requires quite a bit of flexibility to do. While the pose does a lot to stretch your thighs, it is also great for your back and chest. It is best to try Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose) just before the Bow, Cobra or Hero pose. The full One-Legged King Pigeon Pose that is ideally meant for intermediate students should be done later. We shall first learn to do only the One-Legged King Pigeon Pose that is easy for most yoga beginners with some knowledge and practice of Yoga. Fact is, this is a rather advanced Yoga pose that calls for careful preparation. This is why, less experienced yoga students or beginners will have to practice some milder variations and. There are lots of benefits to be derived from practicing Eka Pada Rajakapotasana and other hip openers.
How to do Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
1. To start the pose, go down on all fours. See that your knees are right below your hips your hands somewhat in front of your shoulders. Slither your left knee forward, on your mat, to the back of your left wrist and simultaneously tilt your left shin beneath your torso and take your left foot to the front of your right knee. Ideally, now, the outside of your left shin should be resting on your mat. Slowly straighten your knee and slide your right leg back, descending the front of your thigh to your mat. Let the outside of your right but fall down to your mat. Position your left heel just in front of your right hip.
2. Your left knee can tilt a little to your left, outside the line of your hip. Look back at your right leg. Ideally, it should extend straight out of your hip and be turned slightly inwardly in such a way that its midline pushes into your mat. With a deep exhalation, lay your body down on your inner left thigh for a couple moments and stretch both arms forward.
3. This done, slide both hands back toward your front shin and thrust your fingertips firmly into your mat. Raise your body up from your thighs and stretch your lower back by pressing your tailbone forward and down. Simultaneously, raise your pubis towards your navel, roll your right hip point towards your left heel, and stretch the front of your right groin.
4. If it is possible to maintain a upright position of your pelvis without putting pressure on your hands on your mat, take your hands to your pelvis and push down actively. Lift the lower rim of your rib cage, against the pressure in such a way that your back ribs lift a little faster than your front ribs. Drop your head back without compressing the back of your neck. Push the top of your sternum, to raise your chest and straighten up towards the ceiling.
5. Hold the pose for a minute, if possible then carefully slide your right knee forward, with your hands back on the floor, exhale and then raise your back and go into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose). Take a breather here, drop your knees to all-fours and, with another exhalation repeat the pose with your legs reversed for the same time.
Benefits of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
- Opens up the chest and shoulders
- Strengthens and stretches your groins, thighs, psoas, chest, abdomen, neck and shoulders
- Stimulates all your abdominal organs, thereby improving digestion
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Contraindications
- Ankle injury
- Knee injury
- Sacroiliac injury
- Tight hips or thighs