Pigeon Pose

Common Title Pigeon Pose
English Title Pigeon Pose
Sanskrit Title Kapotasana
All Titles Pigeon Pose, Kapotasana,
Pose Level Advanced
Pose Position Prone
Pose Type Stretch, Back-Bend
Sanskrit Pronunciation Play Audio
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In Sanskrit ‘kapota’= ‘pigeon’, and this pose is also named after a great yogic master Kapota. Kapotasana is a challenging pose and comes under the category of Advance Level Poses and is also a deep backbend pose. Taking the torso in a deep backbend while settling the knees and the shins on the floor, the neck flexes to the maximum to place the crown of the head on the soles of the feet. In English, Kapotasana, is simply translated as Pigeon Pose. The most challenging aspect of this pose, is not just the flexibility of the entire back, but the flexing of the back in a narrow space from the floor. It is like a deep connection between the upper and the lower body, but in the opposite direction.

Pigeon Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Chakras

Pigeon Pose helps open, activate, and balance the following chakra(s):
  • Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra)
  • Throat Chakra (Vishuddha Chakra)
  • Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra)
  • Sacral Chakra (Swadisthana Chakra)

Anatomy

Pigeon Pose benefits the following muscles and hence can be included in yoga sequences with the corresponding muscle(s) focus:
  • Lower Back
  • Middle Back
  • Core (Abs)
  • Hamstrings
  • Chest
  • Hips
  • Neck
  • Psoas
  • Quadriceps

Pigeon Pose yoga sequences

Pigeon Pose is commonly found in the following types of yoga sequences:
  • Gentle yoga sequences
  • Kids yoga sequences
  • Yoga sequences for relieving lower back pain
  • Middle back focused sequences
  • Core yoga sequences
  • Yoga sequences with focus on hamstrings
  • Heart opening yoga sequences
  • Hip opening yoga sequences
  • Yoga therapy sequences for neck
  • Yoga sequences for psoas
  • Yoga sequences for Quadriceps

How to do Pigeon Pose

The below cues and yoga sequences added by yoga teachers show multiple ways to do Pigeon Pose depending on the focus of your yoga sequence and the ability of your students.

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  1. A. Release from Sleeping Swan Pose with an inhalation and come back to Cow Pose and bring the body to perfect alignment.

    B. After taking a few breaths at Cow Pose, lift the hips and place the right leg in front of you on the floor, in Pigeon Pose with the right leg.

    C. Extend the spine complet...
  2. A. Releasing the body form Cow Pose, take the left leg and place the left thigh on the floor in front of you slowly raising the body and hips from the floor.

    B. While placing the left thigh on the floor bending the knees, sit on the left hips, extending the right leg behind you completely.

    C. ...
  3. A. From the Twisted Dragon Pose, comfortably place the right thighs on the floor while the left leg is stretched out behind you and sit on the right hips to go into Pigeon Pose or Kapotasana.

    B. Seated here, pressing the right thigh towards the floor, exhale and take the lower back in a slight ba...
  4. A. From the Twisted Dragon Pose, place the left thigh on the floor while seated and stretch the right leg behind you.

    B. Seated here in Pigeon Pose, push the left thighs and left hip closer to the floor while working on taking the spine in a slight back bend.

    C. Stay here for about 3 breaths a...
  5. A. Release the left leg after the practice of Ardha Hanumanasana and place the left thigh on the floor in front of you while extending the right way completely behind you.

    B. After complete exhalation, sit on the floor balancing the body on the left side of the hips in Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose. ...
  6. Ardo Kapotasana

    From all fours, bring the right knee to the inner side of the right wrist and lengthen the left leg back behind you. If the right (front) hip doesn't settle comfortably on the ground here, I recommend keeping the leg muscles actively engaged and staying in the posture for around ...
  7. From DFD, Inhale your right leg up to the sky, exhale bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow and bringing it down to the mat, rotate left thigh inward to bring your thigh to the mat, left leg behind in line with the left hip, tops of toes touching the mat, if right hip is not touchin...
  8. EXHALE TO PIGEON

    Breathe normally
  9. Give the option for reverse pigeon first.
  10. from downward facing dog

    bend your left knee and bring it to the mat beside your left hand,

    release you right knee to the mat. The front of your right leg is as flat on the floor as possible.

    Square your hips towards the front of your mat.

    If you would like to go deeper in this stretch;...
  11. from downward facing dog

    bend your right knee and bring it to the mat beside your right hand,

    release you left knee to the mat. The front of your left leg is as flat on the floor as possible.

    Square your hips towards the front of your mat.

    If you would like to go deeper in this stretch;...
  12. *opens hip joints & thighs
    *massages & supports internal organs
    -->TRANSFORMING TENSION INTO PEACE.
    KNOW THAT YOU ARE SAFE!
  13. bring the right leg and place it in front of you folding the knees and come to sit on the floor while stretching the left leg behind while taking the upper back in a slight back bend.
    1. Starting in Staff pose with both legs in front of you.

    2. Bend the left knee out so that the shin is paralle...
  14. bring the right leg and place it in front of you folding the knees and come to sit on the floor while stretching the left leg behind while taking the upper back in a slight back bend.

Discover more cues, teaching ideas, and how to do steps at How to Do Pigeon Pose

Pigeon Pose Benefits

Pigeon Pose Benefits:

Understanding the practice of Pigeon pose comes with having an open mind and just not a flexible body. As it is a challenging pose, it is best done after the practice of various other poses which are less challenging, but lead to Kapotasana. To attain the maximum from this practice understanding Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose) benefits is essential, which are mentioned in 10 points below.

  1. Kapotasana improves flexibility of the entire Spine.
  2. Pigeon Pose makes you stronger, as it builds strength with maximum extensions of the limbs.
  3. Crown Chakra is activated with the fresh flow of blood to the head.
  4. Stretches the various muscles like - abdomen, psoas, thigh, groin, ankle, throat and the chest.
  5. Pigeon Pose is a great hip opener.
  6. Activates the various organs in the body, keeping them in good condition.
  7. Diaphragm muscles are stretched improving the breathing.
  8. Kapotasana, when practiced by a yogi for longer duration, helps to attain spiritual benefits and there is a sense of harmony.
  9. Prana flow increases with the expansion of the chest along with the backbend.
  10. Pigeon pose is a great pose for women in general, as it helps to use the pelvic floor muscles in a efficient way, helping with reproduction.
Continue reading more on Pigeon Pose Benefits

Pigeon Pose Contraindications

 (Kapotasana) Pigeon Pose Contraindications:

As Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose) is an advance level posture, it is best done with the guidance of an expert, and while doing so, keeping in mind some precautions is also important. 10 Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose) contraindications are mentioned below:

  1. Injury to the spine, the neck or the shoulders.
  2. Insomnia
  3. Stiff back or a sore back.
  4. Migraine
  5. Hypertension
  6. Weak functions of any organ.
  7. Women who are pregnant or menstruating.
  8. Spondylitis
  9. Any kind of allergies related to the breathing.
  10. Depression

Pigeon Pose Variations

Pigeon Pose Variations: Below are some common variations of the yoga pose Pigeon Pose with base pose as Camel Pose (Ustrasana).

Pigeon Pose Steps

 (Kapotasana) Pigeon Pose Steps:
  1. Release the left leg after the practice of Ardha Hanumanasana and place the left thigh on the floor in front of you while extending the right way completely behind you.
  2. After complete exhalation, sit on the floor balancing the body on the left side of the hips in Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose. This pose with help to open the hips deeper with the flexing.
  3. Kapotasana should be done keeping in mind the hips more and focusing on taking the hips square and not turned towards onside. The alignment of the hips to the floor and the shoulders plays an important role here making sure one gets the maximum benefit from the pose.
  4. Remain here going deeper with every exhalation, for about 8 deep slow long breaths and slowly take the torso in a backbend.
  5. Push the chest out taking the back and the neck in a slight backbend and push the hips gradually towards the floor.
Learn more: Pigeon Pose Steps

Pigeon Pose Modifications

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Pigeon Pose Yoga Sequences

Pigeon Pose Titles in English and Sanskrit

Many yoga poses have multiple titles because of differences in their Sanskrit to English title translation or a specific title becoming popular because of it's common usage amongst yoga teachers and yoga practitioners. Below are common titles of Pigeon Pose:

  • Pigeon Pose
  • Kapotasana

Pigeon Pose Sanskrit

Pigeon Pose sanskrit title is Kapotasana

Please click on the link below to listen to Sanskrit pronunciation of Pigeon Pose:
Sanskrit audio pronunciation for  Kapotasana Play Sanskrit audio pronunciation for Kapotasana

Pigeon Pose See Also

Please find a sequence for Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

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