Thread the needle is a much gentler asana than pigeon pose. It is also safer for those with hip or knee problems. Thread the needle is good for releasing tension in the hips, which can have a positive effect on the lower back and knees as well. It provides a particularly effective stretch for the piriformis muscle and can be used as a preparatory pose for pigeon pose.
Additional benefits of thread the needle pose include:
- Hip opener
- Calms the nervous system
- Stretches the hips and glutes
- Releases tension in the lower back
- Stretches the legs and outer thighs
- Engages the core
To intensify the stretch in this pose, mindfully press the top knee away from the body and release the pubic bone toward the floor.