Price Match Guarantee | Free Shipping $50+ | Easy Returns l Rewards Program


Your Cart is Empty

  • Men
  • Brands
  • Gear
  • Yoga Blocks, Straps and Props - Mukha Yoga
  • Meditation Supplies - Mukha Yoga
  • Yoga Spring Collection - Mukha Yoga
  • Release for Tight Hips: Pigeon Pose & Its Variations

    April 30, 2023 3 min read

    Pigeon Pose | Mukha Yoga

    If you’re like most people, hip-opening poses are some of the most exquisitely painful – in a good way – moments in a yoga class. Given the tensions that we hold in our hips and pelvis, dedicating some time to soften, stretch and release our muscles and joints can have a renewing effect. If I had to pick one asana to be my go-to hip opener, it would be Pigeon Pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Eka: one, Pada: leg or foot, Kapota: dove or pigeon, Rajakapota: the king of pigeons).

    Why are our hips so tight to begin with?

    The short answer: our lifestyle. Sitting in front of a computer, driving in rush hour traffic, long commutes or spending hours on our feet can build up tension in our hips and pelvis very quickly. Not to mention that a lot of emotions get trapped in that area of our bodies. I have found myself feeling emotional or even crying after an intense hip-opening sequence!

    Benefits of Pigeon Pose

    In my experience, Pigeon Pose is one of the best asanas for the hips because it works the front and outer hips, the thighs, the groin, the glutes and the lower back. Sounds good, right?

    While this pose can work wonders, it may not be right for everybody. For example, anyone with limited hip mobility may have to be careful when selecting the right variation for their body. Pigeon Pose may not be right for those with knee or lower back injuries as it puts some pressure on those areas. Try a variation of Pigeon Pose to meet your needs.

    Pigeon Pose Variations

    As a prop-friendly pose, you can play around with blankets, bolsters or blocks to make one of its many variations work for you.

    If you’re just getting started: Full pigeon may be difficult if you’re not used to mobilizing your hips. It’s also complicated to align both hips if your pelvis can’t reach the floor. Depending on your flexibility, you may place a folded blanket or a block under your hip to square your hips. Another option is to place your hands on blocks to help extend your spine.

    If you can’t put pressure on your knees: Reclined or Seated Pigeon Pose are two of my favorite poses to do before bed or early in the morning if I don’t feel “loose” enough to do full Pigeon. You simply cross one ankle on top of the opposite knee to make a number 4 with your legs. You can choose to sit up and place your hands behind you or lay on the floor with your legs raised at 90 degrees.

    Pigeon Pose Variations | Mukha Yoga

    If you want a forward fold but can’t reach the floor: Some variations include gently folding forward and placing the forearms on the floor and resting the head on the hands. If that isn’t accessible to you, you can use a bolster to give height to your forearms and a block on top of the bolster to rest your head on.

    Whatever variation you choose, the benefits will come. Let us never underestimate the power of a well-rounded asana like Pigeon Pose!

    Aimeé Durán Triujeque l Mukha Yoga Writer
    By Aimeé Durán Triujeque; All Rights Reserved @2023

    Aimeé Durán Triujeque l Mukha Yoga Writer By Aimeé Durán Triujeque; All Rights Reserved @2023

    Related Articles

    As someone who works daily on hip mobility (an anatomical challenge of mine since coming out of mama's womb, I'm told), here are some good poses to gently work with what you've got.

    I have found yoga to be the biggest source of relief when it comes to my sciatica. Here is my recipe for relief.