King Pigeon packs a punch with multiple challenges!
The Sanskrit word "raya" means "king" and "kapota" means "pigeon" therefore we can translate the posture to King Pigeon Pose. This pose is somewhat unique in that it offers a backbend, heart opener and a hip opener all within the same posture. It's common to confuse King Pigeon with Mermaid Pose, as the poses look very similar. Many beginners practice this pose with the rear leg on the ground as opposed to raising it to the hands for the deepest version of the posture.
The major benefits of King Pigeon Pose include stretching the hip flexors and opening the chest. The intercostal muscles are also stretched along with the muscles of the abdomen. The organs of the belly are stimulated and the throat is also stretched. Muscles of the upper back and back of neck can also be strengthened in the pose. It's also possible to increase circulation to the digestive system.
Camel Pose and Seated Forward Fold Pose can act as good prep poses for King Pigeon Pose.
Major Tips: Make sure to warm up properly before trying King Pigeon. Don't force yourself into the deepest variation of the pose, use a strap to help reach your foot if needed. If you feel low back pain, back off the pose and try to lengthen the spine to avoid compression. If you're a beginner, keep the rear leg on the ground until you've advanced enough to go deeper. Be aware of knee pain, placing the front foot closer to the groin can aid in protecting the knee.
King Pigeon Pose offers a variety of benefits, some of which are listed below. Enjoy the pose!