Reverse Pigeon Pose - Sucirandhrasana

Reverse Pigeon Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska


Reverse Pigeon Pose Yoga or Sucirandhrasana in Sanskrit is an elegant combination of a gentle hip-opener and an effective hamstring stretch. Also known as the Eye of the Needle Pose it is commonly used by runners during recovery, to release any strain in the hamstrings and glutes. Typically Sucirandhrasana is practiced at the end of a yoga sequence to cool down the muscles of the hips, legs, and lower back. This supine pose is a grounding practice and works on the connecting tissues when held longer, hence should be included in Yin Yoga for better flow of energy through the channels, and to activate certain meridians.

Pose Detail

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Lie on your back, bend your knees, feet parallel. The distance between the feet is equal to the width of the pelvis.
Step 2
Place your left ankle on the top of your right thigh (just below your knee) and extend your left foot so that it is perpendicular to your shin. Do not allow the outer edge of the foot to curve into a sickle shape - this can damage the ankle and knee ligaments.
Step 3
Then bring your right knee to your chest and grab the shin with your hands, interlacing your fingers. Make sure both hands are under the shin of the left leg, not over it. Don't round your back or lift your shoulders off the floor. If it doesn’t work, use a belt or grab the thigh instead of the lower leg. The shoulders and neck should be relaxed in the pose, so find a position where the upper body is not tense.
Step 4
As you bring your right leg closer to you, point your knee toward your right shoulder, not toward the center of your chest, while pulling your left knee away from you. Combining these two movements, you will most likely experience quite intense sensations, but if this is not the case, add one more: direct the pubic bone from the navel down to the floor. This work increases traction in the pelvic area due to the deflection in the lower back.
Step 5
Keep it for 40-60 sec, then release and repeat on the other side.

Benefits and Contraindications


Lengthens the hip flexors.

Helps to prepare the body for seated poses( Ex: Padmasana or Lotus posture).

Opens the hips.

Helps to cure the lower back pain.

Stretches the arms, neck, hips, upper back and shoulders.

Helps to calm the mind.

Increases the blood circulation to the entire body.


Knee injury.

Shoulder problems.

Neck Injury.

Sacroiliac issue.

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props and Tips

  • It’s good to do this pose in the morning with empty stomach.
  • If you cannot reach your shin, hold onto the thigh or use a strap to hold around the leg.
  • You can practice a variation using a chair. To do this, sit on a chair, place the outside of your left ankle just above the right knee making a figure 4 shape with your legs. Gently press your left knee toward the ground and sit up as tall as you can. Lift your chest forward and up as you hinge forward to intensify the stretch in the outer hip and glutes. This will feel like you are bringing your chest toward the wall in front of you rather than toward your legs. Flex your toes back toward your shin to activate the ball of your foot. Squeeze your inner thigh to keep the pose active. Try to externally rotate your hip so that your inner thigh is facing the sky and the outer thigh is facing the ground. Repeat on the other side.
  • Do not rush. If you find any pain or discomfort, ask for the expert’s guidance and the doctor’s advice.


Sucirandhrasana is a yoga pose that stretches the hips and lower back. Here’s a breakdown of the anatomy involved in this pose:

  • Hips: Sucirandhrasana primarily stretches the outer hips, including the gluteus medius and minimus muscles, as well as the piriformis muscle, which runs from the sacrum to the outer hip. These muscles are responsible for abducting and laterally rotating the hip joint.
  • Lower back: The lower back muscles, including the erector spinae and quadratus lumborum, are also involved in Sucirandhrasana. These muscles help to maintain the upright posture of the spine and support the lumbar spine during the forward fold.
  • Hamstrings: The hamstrings, including the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus muscles, are also involved in this pose. These muscles run along the back of the thigh and are responsible for extending the hip joint and flexing the knee joint.
  • Abdominals: The abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis and obliques, can also be engaged to support the forward fold in Sucirandhrasana. These muscles help to stabilize the spine and maintain proper alignment during the pose.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Standing Pigeon Pose Yoga
  • Chair Pigeon Pose

Top Preparatory Poses

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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.