How to Do One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II in Yoga (Guide to Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II)

The One-Legged King Pigeon II pose is an advanced modification of the Pigeon pose. While classic Pigeon pose stretches only the hips, this variation stretches the entire front body, including the quadriceps, hip flexors, and chest.

The One-Legged King Pigeon II offers a powerful release for both athletes and those who sit for long hours every day. It will increase flexibility in the entire front body while also strengthening the back.

Make sure you always perform this pose warm after a series of sun salutations and easier Pigeon pose variations.

“This advanced yoga pose provides an intense stretch for the hips, thighs, and the chest. ”, says Yoga Answered contributor Sara Popovic. “That doesn’t only provide physical benefits. The heart and the hips are also where we hold most of the physical and emotional trauma. The One-Legged King Pigeon II can help us relieve pent-up emotions, providing a sense of total release and surrender.”

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II
Pose Type: Yoga Backbend Poses
Difficulty Level: Advanced pose
Targets: The spine plus the entire front body, including groin, thighs, ankles, abdomen, chest, and the front of the neck.
Benefits: The posture can improve flexibility and release tension in the front of your body, particularly the quadriceps, chest, abdomen, and throat. Since it is a backbend, it will also strengthen the spine and back muscles. With regular practice, it can help us improve our posture. As it opens our chest, it activates the Heart chakra, allowing us to feel greater love and compassion, and release fear. The static hold of the pose cultivates full-body awareness and leads to complete presence.  
Preparatory Poses: Cobra pose, Low Lunge, Bridge pose, Upward-Facing Dog pose.

How to Do One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II Step-By-Step

  1. Start in the Staff pose, sitting on the mat and facing the front. Bend the right knee and place the foot on the floor in front of you, bending in the knee like in a low lunge position
  2. Swing the left leg back, so that the top of the thigh and the foot press into the mat.
  3. Bend the left knee and raise the left foot behind you, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. Balance the weight evenly between the right foot and the left knee. To increase the stretch and to stabilize the pose, push the right knee forward, so it’s slightly in front of the toes.
  4. Lift the right arm and bend your elbow, to grab the left foot with the hand. Then repeat the same with the left arm. The elbows should face the ceiling. If you’re able, lift your chest and drop your head back, toward the foot.
  5. Hold the pose for up to 30 seconds, and make sure you maintain a deep and steady breath.
  6. Release the pose slowly. Repeat on the other side and hold for the same amount of time.

Beginner’s Tip

If you have never practiced this pose, start by using props or modifications, even if you’re an advanced student. For example, you can try pressing the back shin against the wall or place a block under your front foot to remove pressure from the knee. You can also use a chair to lunge over it with the front thigh and elevate the back knee on a block. Finally, you can loop a strap over the back foot in any variation of the pose to extend your reach.

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