Kapotasana (King Pigeon Pose)
By Jamie – Some where in the universe!
Kapotasana is a feat of a posture…you come face to face with the emotional and physical and you begin to open your heart, release your hips, and lift from your lumbar. I am forever grateful for this pose, as it forces me on a (semi) daily basis to deal with things my mind wants to hide from and has helped me attain awareness of myself, the physical and the emotional, on an entirely different level.
- Stretches the thighs, ankles, groins, chest, abdomen, throat and front of the whole body, as well as the deep hip flexors (psoas)
- Strengthens all the muscles of the back
- Helps improve posture
- Stimulates the organs of the chest, throat and abdomen
How to do Kapotasana
1. To start the pose, go down on your knees keeping them slightly less than hip width apart. Keep your shoulders, head and hips, in a straight line, right above your knees. Press down into the back of your pelvis, with both hands.
2. Inhale and push your chin toward your sternum. Bend your head and shoulders as far back as possible without jutting your hips forward. Raise the top of your sternum and bring your shoulder-blades against your back. When your chest is raised to the maximum, slowly drop your head back.
3. Before bending all the way back and resting your hands and head on the floor, place both palms in front of your sternum in a prayer pose. Now separate your hands and take them over your head toward the mat behind you. Spread your hips far enough forward to offset the backward movement of your head and upper torso. Keep both thighs at right angles to the floor as you gently fall back. Fingers pointing toward your feet, rest both palms on your mat and let your head gently fall to the floor as well.
4. Raise your pelvis as much as you can, pressing your palms into your mat, stretch your upper spine and then walk your hands toward your feet. Now, drop your forearms, gently, to the mat. If you can, clasp your ankles or your calves. Next, stretch your neck and rest your forehead on the mat.
5. Inhale and exhale deeply then press both forearms and shins against the mat. As you do this, stretch your tailbone toward your knees and raise the top of your sternum in the opposite direction.
6. Hold the pose for 30 – 60 seconds, breathing normally, expanding your chest with every inhalation, softening your abdomen with every exhalation. Then let go of your grip, move your hands away from your feet and, with a deep inhalation, raise your body back to an upright position.
7. Rest in Balasana (Child’s Pose) for a couple breaths before raising your head.