The half pigeon pose or the Ardha kapotasana is one of the seated back bending yoga poses. It is used to improve the flexibility of your hips and pelvis region.
For people who are trying to get into full split, this is one of the yoga poses which is considered to be extremely helpful. In terms of difficulty it is an intermediate level pose.
Half pigeon pose steps, benefits and precautions
Ardha Kapotasana meaning
The name Ardha kapotasana is derived from three sanskrit words.
- ‘Ardha’ means half
- ‘Kapota’ means Pigeon
- ‘Asana’ means a pose
Since the practitioner’s body in the final position for this yoga asana resembles a pigeon with its puffed up chest, the yoga pose has been named accordingly.
How to do the half pigeon pose?
Here is a step by step guide on how to do the half pigeon pose or Ardha kapotasana.
To start with the half pigeon pose, you have to get into the lightning yoga pose or Vajrasana first. Now, do a slight forward bend and place both your hands in front of you in such a manner that your palms are touching the ground.
Your palms will be at shoulder length while they are placed on the ground.
Increase the distance between your knees so that they are apart by your shoulder width.
Now, life your body by taking support from your hands so that you are on all fours like in the Cat cow pose.
Bring your left foot forward and move it slightly to the right so that your left foot is placed right in front of your right knee.
In the final position, your left foot will be close to your pelvic region.
Stretch your right leg behind your body in a backward direction and try to straighten your knee as much as possible.
You will feel a deep stretch in the thigh area of both your legs.
Place both your hands next to your hips for balance. Now, take a deep breath and raise your chest in such a manner that your eyes are looking in the upward direction.
Maintain the pose for 45-60 seconds and keep breathing normally.
Repeat the same steps for the other leg.
To release from the pose, raise your body with the help of your hands and get back to the Cat pose from step two and move back to the lightning pose.
Benefits of the half pigeon pose
- The half pigeon pose provides deep stretch to the leg muscles of practitioners. It opens up the hip and is indispensable if you are looking to strengthen your legs and improve their flexibility.
- For people who want to improve hip flexibility and achieve full split, this yoga asana is very useful to get their body ready.
- If you are someone who suffers from Sciatica, regular practice of this asana can help in providing you with lasting relief.
- Regular practice of half pigeon pose improves the overall posture of the practitioner and provides relief from nagging issues like back pain due to lifestyle problems.
- Ardha kapotasana stretches the spine and improves back flexibility. This has massive impact on your overall well being as well.
- Practicing the half pigeon pose activates the endocrine glands like Thyroid, Pituitary and Adernal glands. It also improves the overall performance of the practitioner’s digestive system.
- With increased blood circulation, this asana helps in rejuvenating the body and provides relief from stress. It also helps in calming the mind.
- Since your chest is in a puffed up position in the half pigeon pose, regular practice helps in increasing lung capacity and improves your breathing as well. It helps in opening up your chest muscles.
Precautions and contraindications
For practitioners who have any kind of a knee or hip injury this Ardha Kapotasana has to be avoided strictly since it puts a lot of pressure on these body parts.
It is very important to be careful initially while you are practising this yoga pose because overstretching may lead to grievous injuries.
It is perfectly fine to take support of yoga accessories like yoga blocks or yoga bolsters while practising this pose in the initial stages. This can come in handy to practise this pose without any injuries.
For people suffering from low or high blood pressure, this pose should be strictly avoided.