Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or one legged king pigeon pose is a beautiful yoga pose used for hip opening. This includes lengthening into the hip flexors and groin muscles as well as integrating a heart-opening backbend in some variations.
The above is a concise eka pada rajakapotasana demonstration video by Kylie Rook from Yoga With Kylie while wearing her Courage My Love Yin Yang legskin tights. We adore the way Kylie shares her yoga passion with the world and are thrilled to be a part of it.
Everyone has their own unique of way of holding stress in the body. Some will experience tight shoulders, or neck pain and headaches, others feel it in the back.
Hip tension can cause a lot of back pain and it’s not unusual to feel a change in pain related to back tension when hip opening poses such as eka pada rajakapotasana and its variations (half pigeon) are integrated as part of your yoga asana practice.
The pose as shown here comes after warming the body up sufficiently in a longer practice. King pigeon is only ever practiced toward the end of a yoga asana practice when your body is most warm and able to stretch into the deeper yoga poses.
A lot of us will never get into the pose demonstrated in our video because not everyone can make that shape safely in their body, even after a decent amount of time warming up. For some it’ll be short muscles like quadriceps or hamstrings, for others there will be skeletal obstruction that limits the rotation of the joints.
It’s important to practice self care and never push your body into yoga poses which cause you pain or feel very uncomfortable physically.
Hip openers have a tendency of stirring stored emotion.
Studies have shown that we store emotions in our cells. For many, a deep hip opening yoga pose like eka pada rajakapotasana can often feel emotionally or mentally uncomfortable while actually being quite nice on a physical sensation level.
It can be hard to know the difference.
Some signs of emotional discomfort are:
If you are feeling any of the above while you practice your pigeon pose or king pigeon yoga pose, it’s ok.
Here’s the process to follow:
Often noticing what you are feeling is the very thing which releases the emotional discomfort in a yoga pose.
Sometimes if there has not been a change and the symptoms persist, you can choose to continue breathing through the symptoms as long as you are not in physical pain. Or you can leave the pose and choose another yoga pose which doesn’t trigger your emotional side as much.
Be aware that by noticing your emotional / mental discomfort and choosing to breathe through it, you may have to feel the emotions that reside there.
Sometimes tears will come, or frustration may escalate for a few breaths before it dissipates.
It’s all part of getting to know yourself.
Yoga asana can be a powerful tool for self discovery as long as you are not physically hurting yourself and willing to be honest in your practice.
Many people come to yoga to be fit or flexible and find that somewhere along the way they become more connected to themselves emotionally.