Flying Pigeon Pose

The flying pigeon pose is a challenging yet rewarding yoga pose. It requires both flexibility and strength, as well as a sense of balance. It provides a deep stretch for the hips, thighs, and groin. It’s a deep twist that can be challenging for beginners, but it’s a great way to release tension from the lower back and hips.

The Basics of Flying Pigeon Pose 

The flying pigeon pose, or eka pada galavasana in Sanskrit, is a popular yoga asana. The name of the pose comes from the fact that it resembles a pigeon in flight, with one leg extended behind and one leg stretched out in front. The spiritual meaning and symbolism of this pose are that of freedom and liberation. 

In yoga, the pigeon pose is said to represent the release of attachments and the letting go of all that no longer serves us. It is a reminder that you are all capable of soaring to great heights, both physically and spiritually. When you practice this pose, you are reminded to let go of your fears and doubts and to embrace your true selves. 

The Benefits of Flying Pigeon Pose 

The Flying pigeon pose is an excellent way to open up the hips, which can become tight from sitting for long periods of time. This pose also lengthens the spine and strengthens the back muscles. 

In addition, the Flying pigeon pose helps to improve balance and coordination. The key to doing this pose correctly is to keep the back straight and the hips level. Doing the Flying pigeon pose regularly can help to improve your flexibility and reduce your risk of injury.

Step-By-Step Guide to Practice Flying Pigeon Pose 

  • Begin in a low squat with your heels grounded and your knees stacked over your ankles. Place your palms on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and fingers are pointing forward.  
  • As you exhale, press your palms into the ground to lift your hips and arch your back.
  • Bring your right knee up to your right armpit, then hook your right ankle over your left ankle as you extend both legs straight. 
  • Keeping your clasped ankles close to your pelvis, use the momentum from your jump to sweeping your legs up and over to the left side. 
  • Inhale as you land in a low squat on the ball of your left foot, with your right leg extended behind you at hip height.
  • Assuming a standing position, begin by sending your gaze and your chest forward and begin to experiment with grounding through the palms. Shift your weight onto your left foot and lift your right heel off the ground, drawing your right knee in towards your body. 
  • Balance here for a moment, feeling the weight in your left foot and making sure that your chest is lifted and your shoulders are relaxed. If you feel particularly unsteady, focus on shifting your weight forward and deepening the bend in your left leg.
  • Once you feel confident, reach down with your right hand and place it on the ground. 
  • In order to maximize the benefits of this yoga pose, be sure to remain in the expression of the pose for up to 5 breaths. This will allow your body to fully reap the benefits of the stretch. 
  • After 5 breaths, gently release the left foot back down to the ground. Repeat on the other side whenever you feel ready. If you find yourself struggling to maintain the pose, be sure to seek out the assistance of a certified yoga instructor. 

Common Mistakes

The flying pigeon pose can be difficult to master. Also, there are a few common mistakes that people often make while doing this pose. 

  • First, they may not place their hands correctly. The correct position is to interlace the fingers and place the palms on the mat, directly underneath the shoulders. 
  • Second, they may not keep their back straight. This can cause strain on the lower back and make it difficult to maintain balance. 
  • Finally, they may not tuck their chin properly. This can lead to neck pain and headaches. With practice and proper alignment, however, these mistakes can be avoided, and the flying pigeon pose can be enjoyed safely and effectively.

Tips for Beginners 

Doing a flying pigeon pose may look easy, but it’s actually quite difficult. Here are some tips for beginners who want to try this yoga pose:

  • It is important to warm up before attempting this pose. A few simple sun salutations can help to loosen the muscles and prepare the body for deeper stretching. 
  • When you are ready to begin, start in a low lunge position with your right leg forward. 
  • As you exhale, begin to lift your right leg up and back, keeping your hips level. 
  • If you feel stable, place your palms together in front of your heart and continue to lift your leg until it is parallel with the ground. 

Cautions

There are a few cautions to keep in mind before attempting the flying pigeon pose. 

  • First, if you have any injuries or health conditions that affect your shoulders, back or neck, you should consult your doctor before trying this pose.
  • Second, it’s important to warm up thoroughly before attempting the flying pigeon pose, as it places a lot of stress on the muscles and joints. 
  • Finally, make sure to use a yoga mat or towel to protect your hands and knees from injury. With these cautions in mind, the flying pigeon pose can be a safe and enjoyable way to deepen your yoga practice.

Variations 

Despite its name, the flying pigeon pose is a yoga move that is accessible to practitioners of all levels. The key to success is in finding modifications and variations that work for your body. For example, if you have tight hips, you can place a block under each hip to help keep the pelvis level. If you have lower back pain, try placing a blanket under your sacrum. 

And if you want a deeper stretch, try reaching your arms forward as you fold into the pose. No matter what your challenge, there is a way to modify the flying pigeon pose so that you can reap the benefits of this powerful posture.

The Bottom Line 

The flying pigeon pose is an excellent way to improve flexibility and strength in the hips, legs, and feet. It can also help to lengthen the spine and open up the chest. In order to get the most out of this pose, be sure to warm up thoroughly beforehand and practice with a qualified instructor. With regular practice, you will soon see an improvement in your overall physical and mental well-being. 

FAQ’s 

Is flying pigeon pose hard?

There’s no doubt that the flying pigeon pose can be challenging. For many people, the hardest part is just getting into the position. With your legs crossed and one foot resting on top of the other, you need to lean forward and place your hands on the ground in front of you.

It seems daunting at first, but once you master this pose, it will feel like a breeze, and you will thoroughly enjoy doing this pose. 

How do you get into the flying pigeon pose?

Getting into flying pigeon pose, or eka pada galavasana, starts with a low lunge with your back heel lifted. Place your front hand on the ground and slide your back leg straight back until your front thigh is parallel to the ground and your back knee is pointing straight up towards the sky. 

From here, bend your back knee and grab hold of your ankle with your same-side hand. Next, lift your front leg up off the ground and place the sole of your foot on the upper thigh of your standing leg. The final step is to press down into both feet to bring your hips level with each other and then open up your chest by folding forward from the hips.

What is the pigeon yoga pose good for?

The pigeon pose is a classic yoga pose that can offer a number of benefits, both physical and mental. For many people, the pigeon pose is mainly known for its ability to stretch the hips and promote flexibility in the legs. 

However, this pose can also help to improve posture and relieve lower back pain. Additionally, the pigeon pose can be beneficial for the mind, helping to reduce stress and promoting relaxation. For these reasons, the pigeon pose is an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their overall health and well-being.

Is pigeon pose a beginner pose?

Despite its popularity, the pigeon pose is not a beginner pose and should only be attempted by yogis who have a good understanding of proper alignment. The key to doing this pose correctly is to keep the hips level and square. 

This can be difficult for beginners, who may find that their hips tend to rotate out of alignment. In addition, beginners may also find it difficult to keep their back leg straight, resulting in an over-stretch of the hamstring. 

Hasna Suhail

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References :


[0]Flying pigeon pose: 5 mind-body benefits. SMILE IN THE SKY. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2022, from http://www.smileinthesky.com/media/flying-pigeon-pose-5-mind-body-benefits

[1]Ashish, & About The Author AshishAshish is a certified Yoga Teacher having experience of teaching at various schools in India. He started learning yoga from renowned yoga schools in the world capital of yoga. (2021, July 10). Eka Pada galavasana (flying pigeon pose): Steps, benefits, precautions. Fitsri. Retrieved April 11, 2022, from https://www.fitsri.com/poses/eka-pada-galavasana