Kapotasana-I
Manipura min 1 - YogPlan

Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana)

Intermidate

Seated Asanas

Kapotasana-I

Pigeon Pose I

(ka-po-ta-sun)

Meaning: kapota = pigeon

Table of content

Spinal Movements:

Preparation

Sit in Vajrasana, both palms on your knees. Keep your neck and spine straight. Adjust knees, calf muscles, and ankles to avoid leg pain. Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Getting into position

Come into Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose) with left leg in front, hands in front of the left knee and ankle. Turn your right thigh inward, trying to rest the outside of the thigh on the floor. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Exhale. Inhaling, bend the right leg from the knee and grab the outside of the right foot near the toes with your right hand. Move your hand around the foot and grab the big toe with your thumb and index finger (thumb on outside of big toe, index finger between the big and first toe, and the palm of your hand facing up and/or forward). Exhale. Inhaling, arch you back, activate your right glute muscle and hamstring, and lift the right foot up as high as comfortable (first turning your left elbow out to the side, then pointed up). Find a comfortable balance. Inhale. Exhaling, arch farther, and bring the foot up toward the head. Reach your left arm above and behind you, grab the right foot with both hands, relax the head backward, and join the sole (bottom) of the right foot and the back of the head together. If you are balanced comfortably, release the right hand and raise it straight above your head with fingers in Gyan Mudra (tips of thumb and index finger together) pointed either forward or inward. Hold with normal breathing for as long as comfortable.

For advanced version: first, get into Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (hands on the floor in front of the bent leg); arch the back as much as possible; bend the rear leg and bring the foot as close to the head as possible; press onto the floor with one hand and reach behind you (over your shoulder) with the other hand (hand on opposite side of rear leg for better balance) and grab the foot. Adjust your body and find the balance. Then, bring the other hand over your shoulder and grab the foot (both hands holding the foot now), and touch the back of the head to the sole of the foot.

Coming out of position

Slightly relax the body. Inhale. Exhaling, carefully release the right hand and bring down to the floor in front of the left foot for balance. Release the left hand; slowly and carefully allow the rear leg to come down to the floor; bring your head upright while bringing left arm back down to the floor in front of the left knee, coming back into Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Then, return to Vajrasana. Inhale, exhale, and relax. Come into Sashankasana (Moon Pose) for a few moments to relax the back. Repeat on the other side.

Tips

  • As an alternative grip when reaching back to grab the foot of the bent leg, reach back and grab the foot with the thumb under the toes and index finger wrapped on top of the toes (palm facing upward).
  • Do not let the hips turn toward the bent leg to avoid injury or losing balance.
  • Activate the glute and rear thigh muscles if it is difficult to balance. If balancing is easy, keep these muscles relaxed.
  • Exhale while lifting your foot up and turning your elbow upward to make it easier.

Precautions

Avoid

If you have high blood pressure, herniated (slipped) disc, abdominal hernia, chronic/serious wrist, neck, shoulder, back, or knee problems.

Be careful

If you get dizzy easily; or have neck, elbow, shoulder, back, hip, or knee issues.

Benefits

General

  • Opens the chest, hips, and pelvis.
  • Stretches arms and entire front of body (toes to throat).
  • Strengthens arms, shoulders, neck, back, glute, thigh, hamstring, and calf muscles.
  • Improves body posture, rounded shoulders, digestion, balance, and concentration.

Therapeutic

Helps with anemia and muscle spasms.

Variations

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