Utthita Eka Pada Kapotasana

Definition - What does Utthita Eka Pada Kapotasana mean?

Utthita eka pada kapotasana is an intermediate hip opener that improves flexibility and prepares the body for more challenging asanas in the kapotasana and rajakapotasana series. The name comes from the Sanskrit, utthita, meaning “extended”; eka, meaning “one”; pada, meaning “foot” or “leg”; kapota, meaning “pigeon”; and asana, meaning “pose” or “posture.”

This asana is a half split with one leg stretched back so the top of the foot presses into the mat and the other leg is bent in front with the calf resting on the ground. The torso folds over the front leg, and head and outstretched arms rest on the mat.

Utthita eka pada kapotasana may also be referred to in English as extended one-legged pigeon pose. It is considered a variation of the more advanced utthita eka pada rajakapotasana (extended one-legged king pigeon pose).

Yogapedia explains Utthita Eka Pada Kapotasana

Traditionally, utthita eka pada kapotasana is believed to open the svadisthana (spleen/sacral) chakra, which is associated with intimacy, enjoyment and creation. A healthy svadisthana chakra ensures self-acceptance and comfort in relationships.

Utthita eka pada kapotasana prepares the yogi physically and mentally for seated asanas such as padmasana (lotus), baddha konasana (bound angle) and agnistambhasana (fire log). It also prepares the body for backbending poses like dhanurasana (bow), ustrasana (camel) and bhujangasana (cobra), in addition to the rajakapotasana (king pigeon) series of asanas.

Besides its physical benefits, utthita eka pada kapotasana draws the focus inward, both stilling and opening the mind.

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