Yoga Pose of the Week: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana - One Legged King Pigeon Pose

Yoga Pose of the Week: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana - One Legged King Pigeon Pose


9 June 2015


One Legged King Pigeon pose is a combination of a kneeling pose (because it starts off as a kneeling pose) and a backbend.Sanskit Name: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

Eka: One

Pada: Legged / foot

Raja: King

Kapota: Pigeon

Asana: Pose named because of the pigeon-like, open-chested form it takes when in the full asana.

How to do:

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For those who are very flexible, the tendency is to collapse into the pose (hamstring or knee joint), but it is important not to do so. Make sure that you keep your energy around the pelvic floor, hamstrings and gluteals and distribute the weight evenly.

This is a great hip opener and is considered an advanced posture. So take care when doing this asana. If you have knee problems, this could intensify your problem. So make sure you bring the front foot closer to your inner thigh and not extend it forward (to a 90 degree angle) as that will intensify the rotation at the hip and place more pressure on the knee.

Start slow

As always, it isn’t about how deeply you can bend. Take the pose slowly and your body will open itself up to you eventually. Some of us will never be able to take the full pose, and that is fine.

Place a blanket under the hip if you find you are uncomfortable. Use a strap if you can’t reach the extended leg. Or alternatively, leave the back leg extended as you settle into the pose. Remember to hold your core strong and tuck in your lower back so as to avoid lower back injuries.


This is a great pose for opening up the heart and stretching the hamstring, groin, thighs and shoulders. What a great way to get some energy as well as unwind. Do it in the morning to wake you up and shake off the sleep and really wake up your muscles. Be sure to warm up with sun salutations - do not attempt this without warming up as you could strain a muscle or worse, injure your back.

The pose helps stimulate the abdominal organs which in turn helps regulate digestions. It is said to help with urinary disorders.

Contraindications / Do not Practice

Seeing that this is an advanced pose which puts pressure on your knee and lower back, if you have any chronic lower back, abdominal, ankle and knee pains/injuries, please do not practice this pose.

For those with tight hips, take caution and use props to help you ease into the pose.


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