Ardha Kapotasana

If I could incorporate one pose into every yoga sequence, it would be the Ardha Kapotasana or Half Pigeon pose. What I love about the pose is that it energises the body while also deeply stretching and opening almost all of my tight spots at once, namely my hip joints, hip flexors, psoas, chest and shoulders. The great thing about the pose is also that it comes in various modifications to suit every level of flexibility.

Beginners to intermediate level yoga practitioners can bend one knee such that the foot comes close to the opposite pelvic bone, while stretching the other leg out behind and leaning slightly forward to puff out the chest. Once comfortable in this position, one can begin to lean forward from the hip while keeping the waist long and pressing the tailbone down and forward to deepen the stretch in the gluts, hips and lower back. The compression at the lower abdominal region also serves to stimulate and massage the internal organs such as the bladder and kidneys, which can aid in urinary disorders.

Finally, advanced level practitioners can attempt the Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or the One Legged King Pigeon pose. To come into this pose from Ardha Kapotasana, bend the back leg towards the shoulder ensuring that the hips remain pressing down and forwards. Reach the same arm on the same side of the back leg to grab the foot, pulling the foot upwards while opening the upper chest to stretch the quads, hip flexors, upper chest and shoulders.


Natalie Lee