Pigeon Pose: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Benefits, Variations, and Execution

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Pigeon pose is a yoga pose that targets the hip flexors and low back. It offers numerous benefits, including enhanced flexibility, improved mobility, and reduced lower back pain. For individuals with tight hips and low back discomfort, this pose provides an effective solution.

Benefits of Pigeon Pose

  • Increases hip flexibility and rotation.
  • Stretches the hip flexors and low back.
  • Improves overall mobility and range of motion.
  • Relieves lower back pain.
  • Promotes relaxation and stress relief.

How to Safely Execute Pigeon Pose

For optimal execution, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Begin in a downward-facing dog position.
  2. Bring the right knee towards the outside of the right elbow (or as close as flexibility allows).
  3. Flex the right foot to protect the right knee.
  4. Lower the right knee towards the floor, outside the right wrist.
  5. Allow the right shin to angle toward the left hip.
  6. Bring the left knee to the floor, behind the right.
  7. Gently lean forward until a stretch is felt in the piriformis.
  8. Hold for a few breaths, then switch sides.

Note that keeping the hips square, back straight, and the back leg in line with the center is crucial during this pose.

Variations of Pigeon Pose

To accommodate different flexibility levels, consider the following variations:

Non-Weight-Bearing Variation

  1. Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair.
  2. Flex the right knee towards the chest.
  3. Flex the right foot and rotate the ball of the big toe toward the chest.
  4. Use the left hand to lift the right heel gently towards the knee.
  5. While inhaling, press the knee away from the body and to the side.
  6. While exhaling, draw the big toe closer to the chest.
  7. Repeat ten times on each side.

Supine Variation

  1. Lie on the floor, facing up.
  2. Place the right ankle onto the opposite thigh.
  3. Bring the left knee towards the chest.
  4. Reach through the legs with both hands and grasp the left shin.
  5. Gently pull the shin towards the body, keeping the right foot flexed and the left foot relaxed.
  6. Hold for a few breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Seated Variation

  1. Sit upright on the floor with legs extended.
  2. Bend the left knee and keep the foot flat on the floor.
  3. Bend the right knee and rotate the ball of the big toe toward the chest until the foot rests on the left thigh.
  4. Sit up straight and gradually draw the left shin towards the body, intensifying the stretch.
  5. Hold for a comfortable duration, then repeat on the other side.


Incorporating pigeon pose into a regular stretching or yoga practice can effectively combat tight hips, improve flexibility, and relieve lower back pain. It is particularly beneficial for individuals with sedentary lifestyles. While the traditional full pigeon pose may not be suitable for everyone initially, the variations outlined above provide a gradual progression to full execution.

As with any exercise, proper form is essential to reap the benefits and minimize injury risk. If any discomfort or pain is experienced, it is recommended to consult a qualified yoga instructor or healthcare professional for guidance and modifications.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare professional for personalized advice regarding your health and fitness.

Copyright and Rights: The content and images in this article belong exclusively to OMG I Yoga. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution is strictly prohibited.


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