We all tend to hold a lot of stress. We go through the day ‘collecting’ it during our work, in our relationships, in traffic, because of our minds and we hardly release it by doing (enough) exercises. Our hips are the ones that suffer, together with our shoulders, neck and cheeks, simply because our hips are big store holders of stress. One of the best poses to release this stress is Rajakapotasana – Pigeon Pose; especially in the yin version.
Getting into Rajakapotasana – Pigeon Pose:
- Start in downward facing dog
- Bring your right foot forward and place your right lower leg as much parallel with the front of your yoga mat as you can
- Let your left knee come down to the floor, keep your hips in the middle; there is a tendency to fall to the side in this pose
- Stretch the toes of your left feet to the back and slowly ease down in the pose. You can stay on your hands, bring your elbows to the floor, making a pillow of your arms and bring your head down or bring your arms all the way forward and have your chest going to the floor as well
- Stay in the pose for one to five minutes
- Slowly come up, place your hands under your shoulders, put the tows of your left foot on the mat and lift yourself up in downward facing dog. If you like, you can make a little walking movement, by bringing one heel at the time to the floor
- Change legs
Benefits of Rajakapotasana – Pigeon Pose:
- Makes the thighs more flexible
- Stretches the groins, psoas and gluteus medius.
- Stimulates the abdominal organs
Source: Iyengar – Light on Yoga / Key muscles of Yoga – Ray Long / Ashtanga – David Swenson / Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha – Swami Satyananda Saraswati