Kapotasana (Sanskrit: कपोतासन; IAST: Kapotāsana) or Pigeon Pose is a kneeling back-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. Asanas based on One-legged King Pigeon pose, Rajakapotasana, are also sometimes called "Pigeon".
Etymology and origins
Asanas based on King Pigeon pose or Rajakapotasana are sometimes called Pigeon; for example, Yoga Journal describes a reclining (prone) variation of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, One-Legged King Pigeon pose, as Pigeon.
A pose from the Ashtanga tradition, Kapotasana is an advanced asana which resembles Chakrasana, or Wheel Pose. The shins and forearms are on the ground, the front body stretched upwards in the air. The pose is reached by going into a backbend with knees on the ground. It requires flexibility to bring the head back until it reaches the ground. Kapotasana helps to open up the chest, and strengthens the back and groin. It opens and increases the flexibility of the hips, at the same time strengthening the back, and stretching the thighs and the groin.
In Iyengar Yoga, practitioners begin by lying in Supta Virasana, bending the arms and placing the arms beside the head. They then press the hands, exhale and raise the hips and trunk. The crown of the head can be placed on the floor, and hands can be walked towards the feet by raising the trunk higher.
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- Rizopoulos, Natasha (16 July 2008). "The King of Hip Openers: Pigeon Pose". Yoga Journal.
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