Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing and teaching yoga for life.

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions


One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II is an intense variation of Pigeon Pose that deeply stretches the whole front body and hip flexors, strengthening your back while also correcting your posture.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II

(Pronounced as "ache-ah PAH-dah RAH-jah-kahp-oh-TAHS-anna")

The Sanskrit phrase eka pada means "one foot," and rajakapota means "the king or ruler of pigeons."

How to do One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II

Step One

Sit on your yoga mat, facing the short side. Come into Dandasana, or Staff Pose. Bend the right knee in order to place the sole of the right foot on the floor with the right heel close to the perineum. Your right shin should be nearly perpendicular to the ground here.

Step Two

Pull your left leg back completely so that the top of your left thigh, left knee and left foot all press into the mat. Keep your left leg straight behind you in line with your left hip.

Step Three

Next, bend the left knee and raise your left foot behind you so that the left shin becomes perpendicular to the floor. Press your tailbone and pelvis down toward the floor as you lift the left foot. Balance your body weight on the right foot and left knee by pushing the right knee slightly forward. You can push the right knee forward until the right thigh is parallel to the floor.

Step Four

Take a breath and then exhale as you lift your right arm over and behind your head to grip the left foot behind you. On your next exhalation, raise your left arm over and behind your head to catch the left side of your left foot in your left hand as well. If you can go further, then arch your chest more and push it forward to rest your head on your left foot. Lift your elbows up toward the ceiling. Hold the posture for 15 to 30 seconds without holding your breath.

Step Five

Release your left foot on an exhalation and lower the left leg to the floor. Switch legs and repeat the pose for the same amount of time on the other side.

Beginner's Tip:

You can perform this posture with props to help you find your balance and gain strength in the pose. Come into the pose with a wall behind you so that the shin of your back leg presses slightly into the wall.

You can also place a block -- at its lowest height -- under the foot of your front leg to ease the strain on the front knee.

Then you can reach back and eventually grab your back foot behind you with your forearms pressing into the wall as well. Gradually you can work on pressing your pelvis down toward the floor.

Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II

Pose Level:

Level 4

Contraindications and Cautions:

  1. Irregular blood pressure
  2. Migraines triggered by excessive shoulder and neck tension
  3. Extreme fatigue
  4. Recent lower back or neck injuries with lots of inflammation
  5. Menstruation
  6. Pregnancy

Benefits

  • Stretches out tension from the hips to every part of the front torso, including the throat and shoulders.
  • Builds strength in the back.
  • Corrects habitually slouching shoulders for better posture.
  • Boosts circulation to all of the abdominal organs and the thyroid glands.

Next Pose:

Peacock Pose

9 styles | 152 poses

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One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II
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