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Kapotasana (Sanskrit: कपोतासन; IAST: Kapotāsana) or Pigeon Pose[1] is a kneeling back-bending asana in modern yoga.

Etymology and origins[edit]

The name comes from the Sanskrit words kapota (कपोत) meaning "pigeon"[1] and asana (आसन) meaning "posture" or "seat".[2]

A different (standing) pose is given the name Kapotasana in the 19th century Sritattvanidhi.[3] The modern pose is described in the 20th century in Light on Yoga.[4]


A pose from the Ashtanga tradition 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 is an asana which helps to open up the chest and also strengthens the back and groin. It opens and increases the flexibility of the hips[5], at the same time strengthening the back, and stretching the thighs and the groin.

There is a quite different pose sometimes referred to as pigeon pose, but properly called King Pigeon or Rajakapotasana.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Kapotasana A - AshtangaYoga.info". Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  2. ^ Sinha, S. C. (1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9.
  3. ^ Sjoman, Norman E. (1999). The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Abhinav Publications. p. 77; plate 10, pose 57. ISBN 81-7017-389-2.
  4. ^ Iyengar, B. K. S. (1979) [1966]. Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika. Thorsons. pp. 367–372. ISBN 978-1855381667.
  5. ^ "How To Pop Your Hip Or Crack Your Hip". Retrieved 2018-05-16.

External links[edit]