Santosha (Contentment) – September 2021 – Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – One Legged King Pigeon

Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the second of the NiyamasSantosha 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

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana - One Legged King Pigeon Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
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.

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana - One Legged King Pigeon Pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing black doing yoga outside in the rocky mountains
Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – One Legged King Pigeon with Forward Fold

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!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 6 – Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will cover my absolute favorite hip opener and one of my favorite Asanas – Supta Kapotasana (SOUP-tuh kah-poe-TAH-sa-nuh) or Reclined Pigeon Pose.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Asana Day today, our meditation is a Guided Meditation on Releasing and Letting Go as we will be doing physically with today’s Asana!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Asana – Supta Kapotasana or Reclined Pigeon. This pose is great for lower back pain, and especially for sciatic nerve issues.

Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

This is a deep hip opener – make sure to practice on both sides! There are many Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose variations. This is considered the easiest version, but I find it the best and most versatile. I enjoy moving my legs around a bit to find and target different tight spots in the hips.

  • Start laying on the ground face up in Shavasana – Corpse Pose. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground.
  • Begin with your right foot on top – bring your right ankle to your left knee, making your legs into a figure 4.
    • If you are a new Yogi or have very tight hips and already feel a stretch.. stay here! Breathe deeply into your hips in this pose.. I find new male Yogis may need to practice this for up to a year before being comfortable enough to move into the full expression of this pose below!
    • If you are staying here in Ardha Supta Kapotasana or Half-Reclined Pigeon Pose, hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. I usually hold 30-60 seconds per side in my regular practice.
    • Switch your legs so left leg is on top, and repeat on the other side.
Ardha Supta Kapotasana – Half Reclined Pigeon Pose
  • Reach your hands around your leg and clasp around your left knee.
  • Exhale and hug your left knee in towards your chest. Breathe deeply into your belly and hips, and let your hips and lower back release.
  • Hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. I usually hold 30-60 seconds per side in regular practice. I occasionally hold this Asana for up to 5 minutes, moving my knees closer or away from my chest, or side to side slightly to target problem areas.
  • Switch your legs so left leg is on top, and repeat on the other side.
Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

PS If you are comfortable with variations of these poses, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!

CHECK OUT OUR Other Top 5 lists
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You may want a couch pillow, or perhaps a folded-up blanket for extra support under the head.

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried the half or full version of this Asana before? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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