Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – One-Legged King Pigeon Pose

(aa-KAH pah-DAH rah-JAH-cop-poh-TAHS- uh-nuh)

eka = one
pada = foot or leg
raja = king
kapota = pigeon or dove

Pigeon is a pose that most of us love to fold into towards the end of a class; breathing deeply with the choice of this more restorative option. The advanced and intense hip opening variation, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon) might be a possibility but given the precise alignment and depth of this backbend, that borrows from the puffed upper chest of pigeons, it is more suited as a peak pose as it can certainly take your breath away. Not only because of its physical intensity, but because it requires us to reach in to unlock our deepest fears, traumas and anxieties. Making it an enriching keystone to your mind body health.

  1. It is best to come into Eka Pada Rajakapotasana from Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana):
  2. Bring your right knee forward and place it behind your right wrist. Place your right ankle somewhere behind your left wrist.
  3. Lower your left knee to the floor and slide your left leg back. Come onto your fingertips and walk your hands back until they’re next to your hips. Lengthen your spine.
  4. Keep your hips square to the floor and balance your weight on both legs, lifting tall through your upper body using your core by drawing your navel in, tailbone down and open your chest.
  5. Bend your left knee so the toes are pointing toward the sky and catch your foot with your left arm to complete One-Legged King Pigeon Pose. Feeling the lengthening of your quadricep muscles.
  6. If you can maintain this position, begin modifying the pose by inhaling and push your chest forward and lower the top of your head toward the sole of your foot.
  7. Inhale and reach your right arm toward the sky and find your balance.
  8. Stay in the pose for several breaths. Then carefully release your hands and lower your foot.
  9. Place your palms on the floor and using your core press back to Downward-Facing Dog.