One-legged King Pigeon Pose A - Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

One-legged King Pigeon Pose A - YanvaYoga


One-Legged King Pigeon Pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (eka “one” + pada “foot or leg” + raja “king” + kapota “pigeon” + asana “pose”) is a beautiful and deep backbending posture. This challenging pose requires a great deal of anatomical intelligence, flexibility, and core strength to safely reach its fullest expression.

This is certainly not a posture that can be attained through just one practice, so creating a sequence around this pose does not necessarily guarantee it will immediately be achievable. And that is okay. Practice anyway. Continue to practice and, overtime, you will find this asana becoming more and more attainable.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start in Pigeon Prep Pose, with one leg bent in front of you with the shin on your mat, and your other leg long behind you. Your front shin can be parallel to the top of your mat, or you can bring your front foot closer into your body.
Step 2
Square your hips and squeeze your inner thighs together.
Step 3
Press your front-leg shin down into the mat.
Step 4
Open toward your back leg and reach the same-side hand back, grabbing your foot and pulling it in.
Step 5
Reach around to stabilize your foot, and bring the same side arm of your back leg to the outside of your back leg (flipped grip).
Step 6
Turn your hand back and grab hold of the pinky-toe-edge of your back-leg foot.
Step 7
Make sure your elbow is facing down, then turn toward the front of the mat
Step 8
Lift your elbow up and overhead. If you can balance, reach your other arm up, bend at the elbow, and grab your foot.
Step 9
Lift your belly and chest, kick your foot back, and look up to complete the pose.

Benefits and Contraindications


Opens the chest and lungs

Deeply stretches the hips

Stretches the abdominal organs


Sacroiliac injury

Ankle injury

Knee injury

Dislocated shoulder

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props ana Tips

If you cannot lower the hip of the front leg to the floor, support it with a folded blanket or a block.
The position of your front foot will depend on your anatomy and flexibility. You can keep the shin parallel to the hips, or move the ankle close to your groin. Both versions are correct – as long as you feel no pain.
This pose is both a deep back bend and a deep hip-opener. For this reason, never perform it without a proper warm-up. It would be best to do it towards the end of your practice.
Keep the toes of your front leg flexed to protect the knee.

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  • One-Legged King Pigeon Pose B
  • Seated Pigeon Pose
  • Reclining Pigeon Pose

Top Preparatory Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.