Salamba Kapotasana

Last Updated: July 26, 2017

Definition - What does Salamba Kapotasana mean?

Salamba kapotasana is an intermediate hip opener that increases flexibility and prepares the mind and body for the more advanced rajakapotasana and other challenging asanas that require flexibility in the hips and back. The name comes from the Sanskrit, salamba, meaning “to support”; kapota, meaning “pigeon” or “dove”; 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 remains erect and the hands are placed on the ground for support.

Salamba kapotasana is also known in English as supported pigeon pose.

Salamba Kapotasana

Yogapedia explains Salamba Kapotasana

In addition to its physical benefits, salamba kapotasana draws the focus inward, both stilling and opening the mind.

Traditionally, salamba 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. In contrast, an imbalance in this chakra can lead to unhealthy relationships.

In salamba kapotasana, the back arches slightly and the drishti is toward the sky, but yogis with neck problems may keep the drishti forward. For a less challenging version, place the hands forward of the lead leg to ease the stretch of the hips and allow the focus to remain inward. To prepare for salamba kapotasana, or as a resting posture after the asana, practice adho mukha kapotasana, in which the torso folds over the front leg.

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