Supported Pigeon Pose

Supported Pigeon Pose

Supported pigeon pose is an intermediate hip opener that prepares the body for the more advanced king pigeon pose and other postures that require flexibility in the hips and back.

This pose is a half split with one leg stretched back so the top of the foot presses into the mat and the other leg is bent in front with the calf resting on the ground. The torso remains erect and the hands are placed on the ground for support.

Supported pigeon pose is also known by its Sanskrit name, Salamba Kapotasana.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin in either downward facing dog or table top pose and guide your right knee up toward your right wrist and your right foot will land somewhere between your left wrist and your left hip (the more parallel your shin is to the front edge of your mat the more difficult the posture will be ie. the closer your foot is to the left hip the easier the posture will be).
Step 2
Extend your left leg long straight back behind you.
Step 3
From here you can place a block, pillow or book underneath your right hip (to keep your hips level) and place your bolster or stack of blankets lengthwise in front of you.
Step 4
Stay upright or fold over your bolsters.
Step 5
Find a slow steady breath.
Step 6
Hold the posture on each side for 2-5 minutes.

Pose Detail

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Opens the hips and lower back.

Relieve impinged piriformis and alleviate sciatic pain.

Stretch groins and psoas (a long muscle on the side of your vertebral column and pelvis).

Stimulate the internal organs.

Stretch deep glutes.

Help with urinary disorders.

Contraindications

Recent or chronic knee, or hip injury or inflammation.

Photo poses in different angles

Tips

This can be an intense stretch on the outer hip. Keep your right foot close to your left hip to start with. The more your shin is parallel with the front of the mat, the more intense the hip opener will be.

If your forehead doesn’t reach the mat you can make fists with your hands and stack them on each other then rest your forehead on your hands, or use a block.

You can also stay up higher, resting on your elbows or hands, just remember not to slump in the shoulders – keep the base of the neck soft.

Modification & Variations
  • One Legged King Pigeon Pose Variation Aerial
  • Pigeon Pose Forward Bend Hands Aerial
  • One Legged King Pigeon Pose III Blanket Foot Strap
  • Lakini Pose
  • Half Pigeon Pose Aerial
  • Pigeon Pose Forward Bend Bolster
  • One Legged King Pigeon Pose II
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose
  • Tree Legged Downward Facing Dog Pose
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose
  • One Legged King Pigeon Pose III Prep
  • Tree Legged Downward Facing Dog Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana has been actively practicing yoga for 5 years. In addition to practice, she studies various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.