Pigeon pose brings direct benefits to the joint structures of the pelvis. When the rear thigh is rotated internally, this pose opens your hip flexor muscles (psoas, rectus femoris) and your groin muscles. Pigeon pose also opens your lateral hip rotator muscles (gluteus medius & minimus) on the forward leg. This hip rotator stretch may relieve sciatic nerve tension and ease chronic low back pain.
But with the all the glorious hip benefits you can acquire in pigeon pose, the angle of the forward foot and knee can present issues especially due the common occurrence for knee torsion. Knee torsion occurs when the thigh rotates in the opposite direction of the shin/leg bone. For those with limited range of motion in the hip rotators, you can benefit greatly by supporting the hips, which will help maintain the same rotation of the thigh and shin bone.
Ways to Prop Up Eka Pada Rajakapotasana for Knee Safety and Hip Comfort
Halfmoon Yoga Prop: Mini Bolster
- Place the Mini Bolster underneath the front hip in pigeon pose.
- The added height of the bolster helps to keep the hips square. The elevation of the hip also reduces the rotation occurring in the thigh bone, which reduces the torsion in the knee.
- You can also reduce the affects of knee torsion by bringing the forward foot inwards.
- Additional support to the knee can be applied by flexing the forward foot. This will bring added integrity to the shin bone and knee.
- Alternatives to the Mini Bolster include a rolled up India Cotton Blanket, a Chip Foam Block or a 3’’ or 4’’ Foam Block, depending on how much support is needed in the pose
- Always listen to your body and remain in this pose only for as long as it feels comfortable. If you experience any knee, hip, or lower back discomfort, exit immediately with control.
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