Hip, hip, hooray for hip openers! Today we are diving into Half Pigeon Pose. This is an intense pose that requires a little patience and some willingness to let go. Let go of your worries, your fears and sink into this pose with an open mind and heart.
Half Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
- From downward facing dog, inhale and bring your right leg high.
- Hug your right knee in toward your chest and step it all the way through toward the right edge of your mat, to bring your knee lateral of your right hip and your shin parallel to the front edge of your mat.*
- Bring your right foot into dorsiflexion (press your heel away from your knee and pull your toes toward your shin).
- Extend your left leg out long behind you.
- Internally rotate your hip and press the shoelace side of your foot down into your mat.
- Hug your left toward the front edge of your mat as you plug your right hip toward the back of your mat.
- Extend your arms straight down toward your mat and reach through fingertips.
- Inhale, lift up and out of your heart center and puff up your chest to come into proud pigeon.
- Exhale, walk your fingertips forward to gradually come onto your palms, then forearms and then forehead for sleeping pigeon.
- As you reach your arms forward, relax your shoulder blades down and away from your ears.
- Hold and breathe for several rounds of breath.
- Inhale to lengthen through your spine.
- Exhale to deepen your Half Pigeon Pose.
- Repeat on the left side.
For individuals with tight hips, place a towel or block underneath the hip of the bent knee. This will provide some space for your hips and allow you to work toward squaring your hips to the front edge of the mat.
For individuals with knee injuries, it may be best to avoid Half Pigeon Pose. Try supine figure four thread the needle (on your back) instead.
Stretches the hip flexor (of the straight leg) and the piriformis (of the bent leg).
Lengthens the spine.
Half Pigeon Pose is an active, intense, effective hip-opener. Many of us hold a great deal of tension and emotion in our hips. So, when we work to open our hips and release tension we’ve been harboring, our minds are confronted with resistance and sometimes stress. It’s important to acknowledge the emotions that come up and allow your body and mind to experience them without judgment. Close your eyes, bring your gaze inward and redirect your focus toward your breath.
Half Pigeon Pose empowers our second chakra, also known as our sacral chakra or Svadhisthana. This chakra governs our connection, emotion, intimacy, movement, pleasure, and adventure. The essence of Svadhisthana is water and the color of this chakra is orange. When we tap into this chakra, we are more joyful and peaceful in our own existence. We are less attached to the outcome of events and more focused on the present moment. Practicing Half Pigeon Pose helps us to find the balance of connectedness with others and ourselves.
When your forehead is connected to your mat, you are also activating into your sixth chakra, Ajna or our third eye center. When you awaken your Ajna chakra, you are more in tune with the great teacher in all things and you develop a clarity and understanding of your purpose.
Because of its overall intensity, Half Pigeon Pose transcends the mind and arouses our higher consciousness. This is especially true when we breathe through the wave of emotions that rise within us and breathe into our spaces of resistance. This pose is not easy, but it’s important to approach Half Pigeon without any expectations or forcefulness. Come into Half Pigeon with an open mind and see where it takes you. Be gentle with your self and center your awareness on deepening your ujjayi breath, arrive in the now and let go of everything that may be holding you back.
Gumsaba Fitness Class schedule Monday 1/18/16
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Womens class – Coach Briana – Met Con Monday!
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Mens class – Coach Joel – Met Con Monday!
6AM Sunup Morga Womens only Class – Coach Michelle – Met Con Monday!
8:15AM Sunrise Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Michelle & Coach Joel – Met Con Monday!
9AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Womens only class – Coach Briana – Met ConMonday!
9:30 AM Rose Court Private Camp – Coach Jentry – Met Con Monday!
11:00AM Cytosport Beginning/Intermediate Bodyweight Training – Coach Michelle (private class)
12:00PM Cytosport Intermediate/Advanced Bodyweight Training – Coach Michelle (private class)
2PM Cytosport Hatha Yoga – Coach Jentry (private class)
Oh boy do I need to get this in after 2 hard rides in the last 3 days! Thanks J!