Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One – legged King Pigeon pose)
By Diana – somewhere between space and time
One of the many meanings of the word “yoga” is “transcending one’s limitations” and to me this pose is all about yoga. As a runner I struggle with tight hamstrings and hips; exploring this pose and letting my breath carry me deeper into the stretch allows me to explore hidden dimensions of myself … it’s such a rush! An intense pose for sure. It teaches me about being open, relaxed and keeping my awareness clear in intense situations, sometimes you just have to enjoy the ride!!
- This asana brings about the stretching of the thighs, groins, abdomen, chest, shoulders and the neck.
- It brings about the stimulation of the abdominal organs.
- Opens up the hips, shoulders and the chest.
- It has a great therapeutic value in various urinary disorders.
How to do Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
- Place your knees directly below your hips, and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders. Slide your right knee forward to the back of your right wrist; at the same time angle your right shin under your torso and bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. The outside of your right shin shall now be resting on the floor. Slowly slide your left leg back, straightening the knee and descending the front of the thigh onto the floor. Lower the outside of your right buttock to the floor. Position the right heel just in front of the left hip.
- The right knee will be angling slightly to the right, outside the line of the hip. The left leg is extended straight out of the hip (and not be angled off to the left), rotated slightly inwardly, so its midline presses against the floor. Square the hips to the front. Exhale and lay your torso down on the inner right thigh for a few breaths. Stretch your arms forward. Stay in this position for a few breaths.
- Slide your hands back towards the front shin and push your fingertips firmly into the floor. Lift your torso away from the thigh. Lengthen the lower back by pressing your tailbone down and forward at the same time, and lift your pubis toward the navel. Roll your left hip point toward the right heel, and lengthen the left front groin.
- If you can maintain this upright position of your pelvis without the support of your hands on the floor, bring your hands to the top rim of your pelvis. Push heavily down. Against the pressure, and lift the lower rim of your rib cage. The back ribs should lift a little faster than the front. Without shortening the back of your neck, drop your head back. In order to lift your chest, push the top of your sternum straight up towards the ceiling.
- Maintain this posture for 5 – 10 breaths. Then, placing your hands back on the floor, carefully slide the left knee forward, then exhale and lift up and back into Adho Mukha Svanasana.
- After this take a few deep breaths, drop the knees to all-fours on another exhalation, and repeat with the legs reversed for the same length of time.