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Reclining Pigeon Pose or Supta Kapotāsana

supta kapotasana
English Name(s)
Reclining Pigeon Pose
Sanskrit

सुप्त कपोतासन / Supta Kapotasana
Pronunciation
Soop-tuh- kah-poh-tuh-Ah-suh-nuh
Meaning
Supta: “reclining”
Kapota : “pigeon”
Asana: “pose”

Supta Kapotasana At a Glance

Supta Kapotasana or the Reclining Pigeon pose is a simple and gentle stretching and a hip opening, which can be a good variation for the pigeon pose and is good for people with tight hips. This is a good warm-up yoga pose and included in the Hip-opening yoga sequence also known as the eye of the needle pose.

Benefits:

  • This can be a great hip opener and gives a good stretch to your hips.
  • It is a good preparatory pose for the other deep hip opening and intense yoga poses.
  • This pose activates your abdominal organs, which keeps your digestive system healthy.
  • This helps to stimulate your lowest chakras – Muladhara and Svadisthana chakras.
  • This helps to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.

Who can do it?

Beginners can do this pose as not much flexibility is required. Individuals looking to relax their body and mind and let out stress can do this asana. People having tight hips can do the Supta Kapotasana for better flexibility. Mild lower back issues- can do this pose to ease your back pain and get a calm state of mind.

Who should not do it?

This is a calming and relaxing posture, but even then, there are constraints for some people who should be careful or should avoid doing it. People with any hip, knee, or ankle injuries should avoid doing it. People with severe lower back pain should avoid doing the pose. Pregnant women during their later stages should avoid doing this pose or can do it under the guidance of the prenatal yoga teacher.

How to Do Supta Kapotasana?
Follow the Step-by-Step Procedure

Supta Kapotasana or the Reclined pigeon pose can be done as warm-up yoga or as a restorative pose. Follow the alignment principles to get the benefits out of this gentle supine posture.

  1. Come to the Savasana yoga pose and keep your legs straight and stretched.
  2. Breathe deeply bend both your left and right knee and keep the feet flat on the floor, the toes of both feet in one line, and the feet hip-width apart.
  3. Knees bent keep your feet near the hips and let your breath flow freely.
  4. Let your back and feet be grounded, slowly lift your right foot (left leg firm on the floor) hold the right ankle and place it on the left thigh near the left k (legs bent) knee.
  5. Now the back of your body rests on the ground and relaxed, your head should rest on the ground, and don’t strain your neck.
  6. Be stable, lift your left foot off the floor, and loop your right arm into (through) the legs and your left hand should meet your right arm (right and left arm fingers clasped) at the back of the left thigh or the left shin.
  7. After getting into this pose you can close your eyes or just look up.
  8. Let the flow of your breath be continuous and relaxed throughout the pose.
  9. Press the left knee toward the chest, exhale, and feel the stretch and tightness in your lower hip. Feel the pressure in your hamstrings and the stretch in the lower back.
  10. Be in a gentle hip stretch pose for about 2 to 3 minutes, relax, and let go of the stress and anxiety.
  11. Now slowly breathe in and slowly lower your arms first and then your legs one by one place your foot on the floor and relax in this pose for 2 to 3 relaxed breaths.
  12. Then repeat this on the other side, by lifting the left foot and keeping the left ankle on the opposite thigh (right thigh).
  13. Bring your legs down to the floor Come to the savasana pose and relax.

What are the Benefits of Supta Kapotasana?

  • This pose stretches the hips, thighs, upper back, lower body, hips, and shoulders.
  • This also helps to strengthen your spine and improve your posture.
  • It improves flexibility in the hip region and the hamstring muscles.
  • This is a preparatory pose for the Lotus pose and meditation.
  • This helps to relieve stress, releases anger and anxiety, and helps to keep you calm.

Health Conditions that Might be Beneficial from Supta Kapotasana

  • People suffering from a mild lower back issue can include this pose in their exercise routine.
  • Reverse pigeon pose relieves sciatica pain and Piriformis Muscles Related Issues.
  • Individuals with tight hips can practice this pose to reduce the stiffness of their hips and improve their flexibility.
  • This can also be helpful to keep bloating and gas issues away and help your digestive system to be healthy.
  • Supine pigeon pose can be helpful, to improve their sleep quality.

Safety and Precautions

  • People with any recent surgery should consult their doctor before doing this pose.
  • People with lower back injuries or hip injuries should avoid or consult their doctor for guidance.
  • Pregnant women should avoid doing this pose during their 2nd trimester.
  • Individuals having Sacroiliitis or other sacroiliac issues must not try it.

Common Mistakes

  • Always do the yoga postures on an empty stomach.
  • Do it on a soft surface or the yoga mat.
  • Avoid stressing your neck and shoulder.
  • Keep breathing throughout the pose.

Tips for Supta Kapotasana

  • Beginners should initially do it under the guidance of their yoga teacher.
  • Avoid forcing the stretch, keep it comfortable.
  • It is important to relax and calm down.
  • Any pain or discomfort you should immediately stop performing and consult your yoga trainer.
  • Do the follow-up poses.

Physical Alignment Principles for Supta Kapotasana

  • Keep your spine long and straight and in line with your head.
  • Shoulders should be rolled back and down and ears away.
  • Tailbone rooting down toward the ground.
  • Keep your chest broad and chin slightly tucked.
  • The ankle of the tucked leg should rest on the knee of the opposite leg.
  • Keep your foot active.
  • Supporting leg bent and thigh bone in line with the torso.
  • Arms should be clasping around the supporting leg, back of the knee, and bringing your leg toward the chest.

Supta Kapotasana and Breath

Breathing is very important while doing this pose. Inhale when you start bring your knee closer to the chest, filling your belly, and feel your belly rising. While you bring it close, just exhale your tension and stress out and relax. Keep breathing slowly and gently throughout the pose. Don’t hold your breath as the flow of breath is the flow of energy and life and you feel the energy and it deepens your stretch. Breath flow will let go of your stress and anxiety and fill you with a sense of calmness.

Supta Kapotasana and Variations

  • Place a folded blanket under your hips.
  • Seated variation of this pose.
  • Supta pigeon pose with the help of a chair.
  • Reclining pigeon pose, supporting the wall.
  • Half reverse pigeon poses.

The Bottom Line

It is a simple and more accessible variation for everyone and has many benefits. This is a good alternative to the pigeon pose. It helps reduce tightness and improves your hip flexibility. If you practice regularly this can help with your everyday stress and anxiety and help relieve the tension from your body parts. It puts pressure on your abdomen and helps with your indigestion issues. If any health concerns consult your doctor before doing this exercise. Practice with both legs and coordinate with breath. This pose helps to calm your body and mind.

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Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga International. She is known worldwide for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. She got the Top 100 Entrepreneur of Singapore award in 2022. Meera is a yoga teacher and therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga International, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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