Prenatal Yoga: Pigeon Pose (Raja Kapotasana)

Kaelie Harris, RYT200, MCD, SBD


Pigeon pose is a great pregnancy stretch, especially if you are experiencing sciatic nerve pain. Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by a tight piriformis, which puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. Pigeon can help to stretch the piriformis and take pressure off of the nerve. Pigeon also helps to open the hips and stretch the thighs. It can help to release tension in the lower back. This posture can be modified in many ways to make it more accessible or to to increase the stretch.


Contraindications: Knee Injury or Sacroiliac Issues





How to do Pigeon Pose:


• Start in table top or downward dog.

• Bring the right knee toward right wrist and right ankle towards left wrist, so that the shin is diagonal on your mat. The straighter the shin is, the deeper the stretch.


• Straighten the left leg behind you, slide it back and square the hips.

• Stretch torso forward until desired stretch is achieved.


• Optional (advanced): bend the left knee, bring the foot up and grab the left foot with the left hand, twisting the torso toward the left.

• Repeat on the other side.





Modifications:


• It is important that the weight is distributed evenly through the hips, so if it is uncomfortable, you can slide a block or stacked blankets under the hips to keep them even and give extra support.

• This posture can also be done while seated in a chair, knees bent. Bring right ankle to left thigh with knee bent and lean forward.


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