Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the second of the Niyamas – Santosha or Contentment. Since we are in the middle of a September Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (EH-kah PAH-duh RAH-juh kah-po-TAH-sa-nuh) or One Legged King Pigeon pose is my choice to represent Santosha. This pose, especially with a forward fold, always brings me to a mindful place in my Asana practice, and whenever I practice, I just want to hang out in this pose!
Bonus Daily Asana Challenge
We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Santosha Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.
I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Intermediate Flexibility, which includes both variations of this pose.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try One-Legged King Pigeon Pose for Santosha Day! This pose is a favorite among all levels of Yogis, and is a great passive hip opener.
Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – One Legged King Pigeon Pose
Start in Table Top. We will begin with the LEFT leg forward. Bring your left knee forward, and place it next to the inside of your left hand. Extend your left leg straight back as you lower your hips, making sure you keep the top of your foot on the mat and hips pointing forward. Press your hands into the mat and roll your shoulders back, puffing out your chest to come into the standard version of this pose.
After a breath or two, you may want to slowly walk your hands forward to rest your upper body over your front leg in a forward fold. You can keep your front leg parallel to the front of your mat to deepen the stretch. Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 30-60 seconds. To come out, lift yourself back onto your hands if you are in a forward fold, flex up onto your back toes, and come back up into either Downward Dog or Tabletop. Make sure to repeat on the other side.
PS If you are comfortable with variations of these poses, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!
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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried either version of this pose before? Always remember, be kind!