Extended One-Legged Pigeon Pose

Definition - What does Extended One-Legged Pigeon Pose mean?

Extended one-legged pigeon pose is an intermediate hip opener that increases flexibility and prepares the body for more challenging postures in the pigeon and king pigeon series of poses.

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

The posture is also known by its Sanskrit name, utthita eka pada kapotasana. It is considered a variation of the more advanced extended one-legged king pigeon pose (utthita eka pada rajakapotasana).

Yogapedia explains Extended One-Legged Pigeon Pose

As a hip opener, extended one-legged pigeon pose is very effective because – unlike many hip-opening poses – it increases both the external rotation of the femur in the hip and lengthens the primary hip flexor (psoas muscle). As such, the pose benefits those who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk.

Extended one-legged pigeon pose prepares the body for seated postures such as lotus, bound angle and fire log poses. It also prepares the body for backbending poses like bow, camel and cobra, in addition to the king pigeon series of poses.

As a modification for beginners or those with limited flexibility, a blanket may be placed under the hips and a yoga block or other bolster under the forehead if the head doesn't reach the ground in this pose.

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