Stretch tight hips and relieve back pain with Pigeon Pose – a deep beginner-to-intermediate stretch pose.
Ahhh, Pigeon Pose… This is one of my all-time favorite yoga poses! Anyone who spends a lot of time seated or working at a desk will likely love this pose’s ability to stretch those tight hips and relieve back pain.
Especially as you age, it is important to keep your hip rotators and hip flexors mobile and flexible. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) will help by opening up the hips and lengthening the hip flexors. Pigeon Pose also stretches your entire back and improves your posture, and is also believed to provide relief for urinary issues, and help to release negative emotions.
Beginners should modify the pose as needed for comfort and safety (see modifications and variations from GotYoga.com listed below), and try some gentle beginner-level hip opening exercises to warm up before doing this one.
If you suffer from knee pain, severe lower back pain, or arthritis, you should avoid this pose.
This is a fairly intense stretch, so be sure to listen to your body and tailor the pose to suit your individual needs. This quick video demonstrates how to enjoy the benefits of Pigeon Pose:
Pigeon Pose Modifications & Variations
The pigeon pose itself is a variation of the one-legged king pigeon pose (an advanced backbend) that works as strong hip opener.
Raise Your Arms Up
In the classic pigeon pose, you stretch your arms in front of you and your forehead rests on the mat or on your elbows.
In this variation, you lift your torso away from the mat, perpendicular with the floor. Next, engage your spine and slowly lift your arms up, stretching through your fingers.
This variation works as an energy booster before an intense workout or busy day.
Use Yoga blocks
If you are feeling too much pressure on your back or shoulders when you rest your head on the mat, you can use a yoga block to release some of the tension.
Rest with your head on a block to make it easier for you to relax your neck, shoulder, and back.
Anchor Your Torso Using Your Fingers
In this variation, you will raise your torso up perpendicular to the floor with your arms beside you. Make sure your gaze is forward and your spine is engaged.
Bring your arms down until you touch the floor with your fingers. Spread your fingers and push them against the floor.
This pigeon pose variation will help you out if you want a gentler stretch for your back.
Read More about Pigeon Pose at https://gotyoga.com/poses/pigeon-pose.