Perfect Postures! King Pigeon Pose

In a city where pigeons rule the streets, why not join them? And become a King Pigeon!

Sinead demonstrates king pigeon

King Pigeon (Kapotasana) is a strong back bend posture. It can provide a deep stretch to your hip flexors, abdomen, shoulders and upper arms. It also strengthens muscles in the back, abdomen, shoulders and arms whilst helping to improve posture. All of these benefits come if practiced safely! So make sure to warm up and only practice if you feel your body is ready to give it a go.

This article will provide a quick and safe way to practice the posture at home. But as always it’s best to come to class and practice it with a trained Yogafurie instructor!

If you suffer back, shoulder or neck injury, high or low blood pressure or are pregnant then avoid practicing King Pigeon.

Preparatory Postures

sinead demonstrating dolphin pose

Ardha Pincha Mayurasana – Dolphin (above)

Sinead demonstrates the single leg version where you fold forward over your bent leg

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – One Legged King Pigeon (above)

Sinead teaches bridge pose to students which you can do with supports under your lower back and pelvis

Setu Bandhasana – Bridge (above)

Sinead demonstrates upwards bow pose

Urdhva Dhanurasana – Upwards Wheel (above)

Sinead demonstrates camel pose

Ustrasana – Camel (above)

Step by Step Guide

Step One

Start lying on your back and land your hands on the floor above your shoulders with your fingers pointing down the body. Make sure you have your palms flat and strong to the floor, draw your elbows in so they stack above your shoulders to help this happen.

Activating at the base of the belly and feeling a lift in your pelvic floor to support the lower back, start to lift your hips until you reach a bridge-like posture. With your next inhale, press through your hands to lift your upper body off of the floor. Here you’ll be in Urdhva Dhanurasana. Stay here and breathe deeply for a few rounds of breath.

Step Two

Whilst here, switch on the muscles in your thighs to keep your foundation strong, draw your belly muscles in towards your spine so you feel more supported in your lower back, and lift the chest higher through your upper arms.

Step Three

Sinead demonstrates urdhva dhanurasana with the elbows down
Perfect Postures with Sinead Wood for Yogafurie taken in Bishopston. June 2017. Photographer Freia Turland m:07875514528

If your back and hips feel good and your breath is deep you might want to think about taking it to the next level. Keep strong at the base of your belly to ensure you have support and start to lower down on to each forearm. Here, Sinead is demonstrating by interlacing her hands together around the back of her head.

Squeeze your elbows slightly so they feel like they could move closer together and breathe deeply. Lengthening your tailbone down towards your heels and forwards towards your pubis can help create more space in the lower back. Next time you inhale, press your feet to the floor and expand the chest, lengthen throughout your spine and creating a sensation of more space.

Stay here for up to 6 rounds of breath.

Step Four

To come out of this, unclasp your hands and come back up to your wheel (both palms on the floor), then start to slowly lower your body down towards the ground below. When you get to the bottom give your knees a squeeze in towards your chest and take a supine twist to soften and release the spine.

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