Yoga la paloma
Yoga postures and their benefits
Eka Pada (Raja) Kapotasana, or Pigeon Pose, is probably one of the most misunderstood yoga postures. The ‘full’ and quite famous version of the pose, which is the so-called King Pigeon, includes an overhead grip that requires deep bending and considerable mobility in the shoulders and chest.
In this article we will talk about the foundation of the famous One Legged King Pigeon Pose: the One Legged Pigeon Pose. This pose not only creates the foundation for this famous and highly sought after variation of King Pigeon, but it is a beneficial and effective pose in its own right.
To clarify the difference one step further, Pigeon Pose is the hip-opening yoga pose usually offered at the end of a yoga class. King Pigeon is the inverted grip expression that, in addition to being a hip opener, also doubles as a backbend and chest and shoulder opener.
At the foundation of the following Eka Pada Kapotasana guide is the principle that a yoga asana practice is meant to be a function-based practice, not an aesthetic-based practice. This does not mean that a pose should not or cannot be a function-based practice.
Eka pada rajakapotasana
Also called eka pada raja kapotasana, eka means one, pada is leg, raja is royal or king and kapota is pigeon. It is so called because when we perform it we stick out our chest, like a pigeon, as if we wanted to lean forward.
Therefore, to be able to perform it correctly, it requires some practice. If you are an advanced practitioner, you should kneel on the mat, with the right leg bent and placed in front of the body, leaving the left leg stretched backwards. The final posture is bending your back leg and arching your back so that with both hands you hold your left foot. Then repeat the same with the opposite side to compensate.
Eka pada rajakapotasana benefits
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A very common mistake that many beginners make is to drop the body to one side thus completely disabling the stretch at various levels. Therefore, always keep your hips parallel to the floor for as long as you hold the pigeon pose.
The Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose is an advanced Yoga exercise, demanding, of great flexibility, technique and patience. Doing it well, taking into account every detail, is something reserved for only a few: those who are willing to make a great effort. It is a combination of many things, all of them very important in Yoga.
Not only do you have to have great flexibility in your legs, but also in your arms, back, hips, shoulders and even your neck. Now I leave you two images so you can see how is the final result of each one. Try to imagine all the work behind this:
As you have been able to appreciate in the previous picture, the support is the leg that the yogi has bent and that is more forward than the other. It is the support so that the other leg can be fully stretched backwards without losing stability. In case the yogi is not perfectly prepared, he/she will not be able to hold the posture for a long time.
You may have noticed that this time I have explained the variant, Salamba Kapotasana, before the normal version. This is because the variant is an intermediate step to the normal version.