Ahhh Pigeon Pose. One of those asanas you either love or hate, and your opinion may change from day to day! Today I want to share two key points that will rock your pigeon pose. Let's fly right into it!
The Shin Goes Where?
I remember when I first started practicing yoga I was so confused by what I was supposed to do with my front shin. Did I need to get it parallel to the top of my mat? It seemed that whatever I read or whoever I asked had something different to say. The verdict: The closer your foot is to your body the gentler the opening will be. The further your shin is to being parallel to the mat the more intense hip opening you will feel. Both (and all the variations in between) are correct! Don't forget to flex your foot or spread through your toes to protect your ankle and knee.
Square Off the Hips
One of the most common mistakes I see with Pigeon Pose is for student to roll onto the bun of the bent leg rather than squaring off the hips. We want the hips to be level. This mistake happens because hips are tight, and leveling them is way more intense! Before you fold forward, imagine that there is a magnet in your feet drawing them towards each other. That action will help you square them off. If it's not in the cards, try using a block or rolled up blanket underneath the side you are rolling onto. This will lesson the intensity, and allow you to stretch properly.
Bonus Tip: Don't forget to breathe and relax. Soften your face, and unclench your jaw. Be conscious not to transfer the tightness in your hips to other areas of your body (like your neck and shoulders!).
Any Pigeon questions?