“Pigeon Pose” is encountered with pleasure or reservation for those not familiar with the benefit of practicing this pose to release tension/tightness in the lower body for a greater range of motion. “Range of Motion” is one of the limiting factors in enjoying the continued flow of movement throughout our life.
It is important to integrate “Pigeon Pose” into a Yoga practice and take time/concentration in initiating the posture; the benefits outweigh reservation.
Let’s initiate “Pigeon Pose”
If you study the picture of the 5:30 p.m. Gold’s Gym Yoga class, you see Yoginis of many body types. Most of the Practitioners in this class have participated in Yoga for several years and have learned a wide variety of poses, some which they like better than others reflecting the degree of difficulty. However, the Yoga people who attend this class are dedicated to improve their body form, find serenity, physical benefits and enjoy having fun doing it.
“Pigeon Pose” takes concentration and relaxation to move into the pose and hold it long enough to allow the muscles to release and relax as the hip flexors open, one leg at a time. The best way to move into this posture is from “Downward Dog,” pulling the buttocks into the sky and lengthening the legs to the back.
Next, pull the upper body forward as one leg is bent at the knee and pulled underneath the upper body and arms lengthened in front on the floor. The process of moving the arms forward and long and scrubbing the long assists in holding the pose. No one has to do the full pose in the beginning as the body has to gradually release the hips and allow them to get used to lying flat into the floor with one leg bent underneath the body.
If there are knee problems, it is best to do a modification without stressing the knee and keeping it only slightly bent. Do this pose slowly as you deeply inhale and exhale. Once you relax the mind into the pose, the hips will gradually open. Just say to yourself, “I am working on it at the present,” rather than, “I can’t do it.” You can lift the front body up if it helps to gradually open the hips.
“Range of Motion” is important in the way we walk, play sports and move. When we improve our “range of motion” we have more flexibility and choice in what we do physical. In Yoga, we do only what we can at the present moment and gradually move further into the posture with modifications.
You can place a blanket underneath the knee/thigh of the bent leg for relief of pressure. As you master the pose, you can bend and raise the long leg in back up to the sky and grab the ankle for a beautiful curve in the back as you hold the pose. This last phase may take time, so be patient.
“Pigeon Pose” is one of the most beneficial postures in Yoga. Give it a shot and be persistent; it is a very worthwhile effort!