In supported pigeon pose, the back
arches slightly and the gaze is toward the sky, but yogis with neck
problems may keep the gaze forward. For a less challenging version,
place the hands forward of the lead leg to ease the stretch of the
hips and back. To prepare for supported pigeon, or as a resting
posture after the pose, practice downward-facing pigeon, in which the
torso folds over the front leg.
Supported pigeon stretches the muscles
around the knees and is especially effective for opening the hips
because – unlike many hip-opening poses – it increases both the
external rotation of the femur in the hip (forward leg) and lengthens
the primary hip flexor (outstretched leg). As such, the posture
benefits those who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. The pose
also stretches the glutes, particularly the gluteus maximus, and
As a modification for beginners or those with limited flexibility, a blanket may be placed under the hips and yoga blocks may be used to support the hands.