Flexibility Steps for King Pigeon Pose

Apr 15 / Stacey Nemour Flexibility Master /Martial Artist © protected material not for reuse without direct permission

During my private flexibility session via Skype with  Diane

King Pigeon Pose is a deep stretch for your hips, quad, and lower back.  I am here to help solve the mystery of how  to flexibility train for king pigeon pose and king pigeon pose variations. When performed correctly, it can help improve hip flexor, arm and back flexibility while also supporting digestion. This requires the shoulders and chest to stretch back so it is a magnificent heart opener. Since we store emotions in the body it may release stress, worry, sadness and leave you feeling calm, open, and balanced.

It brings me great pleasure to be part of the solution you have been seeking! Over the last three decades I have been a flexibility master, martial artist, and gymnastic coach Internationally to the top athletes, yoga instructors and Olympians including super-duper beginners to the off the charts extremely advanced performers.

King Pigeon Pose, or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, is an advanced yoga pose that will help develop balance, core and upper body strength. In this blog I will show you how to flexibility train to build up to perform King Pigeon Pose with good form.

Disclaimer: To avoid injury, you will want to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Speak to a professional for all your health needs and seek their counsel. Children need to be always under adult supervision. We disclaim all liability for any physical harm resulting from the information on this website.

By performing any exercises in this blog, you are performing them at your own risk. Stacey Nemour, Flexibility Makeover and/or associated affiliates will not be responsible or liable for any injury or harm you sustained because of this training series.  By continuing to the program, you acknowledge that you have read this disclaimer and agreed.

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How to Start King Pigeon Pose Training

The pigeon pose is the gateway to the more advanced king pigeon pose variations. Pigeon poses specifically works as a hip opener and  stretches your thighs, groin, back, piriformis, and psoas. The leg extended to the rear stretches the psoas and other hip flexors. While the front leg bent in front receives an other hip stretch.
Start here and build from there. In my video I show an incredibly effective way to properly open the body with king pigeon pose variations.  A strap is a must have to maximize the flexibility training needed to advance.

I custom designed my Stacey Stretch Strap different from all the other straps on the market. It has the perfect amount of stretchy resistance to give the support needed with strong yet soft material to not be abrasive to skin with continuous loops to easily choose tension level.

For added support during this pose, rest the hands-on blocks or towels placed underneath the thighs.

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Let’s break it down

Pigeon pose:

Those who do a lot of dance training, ballet, mountain biking or sitting (all of which tend to tighten the quads and hip muscles), these poses may be difficult to practice correctly. I will show solution-based modifications. 

How to start one legged pigeon pose:

Start with the front leg leg bent with knee going out to the side so the hip can get stretched. If you are a beginner and this is uncomfortable keep foot closer in to grion. Make sure the back leg that is straight is turned under (not rolled out) you want to feel the top of the knee and foot (the instep) is making direct contact with the floor or matt. If you still can not comfortably sit in this pose, slide some yoga blocks or blanket underneath the area that is popped up. If you do this correctly you will feel
Stacey demonstrating one legged pigeon pose . on floor 1 leg folded in front & back leg straight in back with knee turned under connecting with floor

Pigeon pose continued:

Start with the front leg leg bent with knee going out to the side so the hip can get stretched. If you are a beginner and this is uncomfortable keep foot closer in to grion.

Make sure the back leg that is straight is turned under (not rolled out) you want to feel the top of the knee and foot (the instep) is making direct contact with the floor or matt. If you still can not comfortably sit in this pose, slide some yoga blocks or blanket underneath the area that is popped up.

If you do this correctly you will feel stabilized. If you are having a difficult time sitting up straight, then do this near a wall where you can put one hand on the wall
to help you balance. Another great way to sit up straight and help with balance is to have a chair in front of you and rest your hands on the seat.

Resting pigeon pose:

From pigeon pose, inhale deep and on the exhale bend forward over your front leg. If your flexibility allows you lead with the chest all the way down to the mat, or place blocks or cushions for it to rest your forehead on. For added stretch extend the arms out in front of you

Stacey demonstrating one legged pigeon pose  stretching forward with head on yoga blocks

Open it all up

Start on both knees then inhale lift up out of the hips and as you exhale open the heart and chest as you reach back to grab your ankles. If this is too difficult reach arms back to chair behind you. More advanced version is to add a yoga block on the chest as a reminder to open the heart and chest.
On knee arched back with hands grabbing  each ankle. Yoga block balancing on chest
Taken during my flexibility session via Skype with Grace.

Improve back arch:

Start laying on your stomach and place 2 yoga blocks underneath your shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale push hands into blocks as you straighten your arms. Keep your low back relaxed, (it is always best to keep the back out of all stretches) For more advanced bring feet towards head. Also see How to get a Flexible Back for Dance

Girl on stomach pushing down on yoga block head arched back feet are on forehead advanced back arch pose
Taken during my flexibility session via Skype with dancer Aurora

Lunge using a chair:

Put front foot on the chair and hold the chair to sink deeper into the stretch. Now, only if you feel ready and have the flexibility. Inhale deeply lift out of the hips and as you exhale feel your heart and chest open as you slowly reach back one hand to grab your back ankle. Repeat on the other side.
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Hip Opener Reclined Pigeon Pose:

These are my king pigeon pose variations from my flexibility training system. This will open hips, back and hip flexors Start by lying down with both legs straight out. Cross one leg over the other with a flexed foot to protect the knee gently put hand or yoga block at top of the leg under hip bone and press open (never-ever press directly on the knee this can cause pain and injury to the area)

Now slowly bend the straight leg you may continue to apply pressure in the same area as you were if you feel a nice opening happening. Then reach hands through the leg and pull knee towards chest remembering to keep the foot flexed on the leg that is turned out. Repeat to on the other side.

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 King Pigeon Yoga Pose:

Before doing this I stretch my back foot all the way to my bottom to stretch the grion and quad to prepare. Take it as far as it will go then immediately drop it back to the floor and repeat five times (the magic happens on the repeat) If you are struggling with tightness start by being near a wall or have yoga blocks on each side to hold onto. If you need to use one hand to balance and the other reaches back. Using the Stacey Stretch Strap to help hold it in place and with reaching  back with one or both arms
On floor in pigeon pose sitting upright with hands on chair back leg bent  up with stretch strap holding foot in place
Testimonial showing stretch in king pigeon pose day 1 to day 3 showing back flexibility progress going further each day
“KayLee is LOVING the courses in the Dance! Flexibility Makeover Power Pack Series” She did her course “Complete “Flexibility Makeover for Competitive Dancers” as a 3 day in a row intensive and was sooooo excited about these results!!! She has been going through extreme growth spurts that has been effecting her flexibility and has also been dealing with her neck getting stuck and pain when she stretches her neck or back. She has never had to deal with that so it has been really frustrating her. She’s extremely happy about this” Get these exact flexibility steps for king pigeon pose. 

Best flexibility props for measurable results:

An area with some clear wall space

A chair for extra support

A stretchy stretch strap (Stacey Stretch Strap is designed for this)

Yoga blocks
Stacey Posture Strap

Common Issues and hold ups:

A common hold up is just working on one pose without opening the entire body first. For example, if you want to improve back flexibility just arching back with out the balance of rounding forward and stretching all the connecting muscles progress is limited. This is how pain and injuries occur to due to this imbalance.


Since everything is connected from head to toe the more comprehensive your flexibility program is the bigger the payoff when you go into all the yoga poses and king pigeon pose.

Girl on stomach stretching 1 foot back towards her head using Stacey Stretch Strap
During my flexibility training via Skype with dancer Diane using Stacey Stretch Strap

When tightness is holding you back:

Dismantle the no pain no gain belief:

As with life and the body when you try to force something it creates more resistance. True progress comes from relaxing into things. Whenever you feel locked up and stuck in a holding pattern the best things to do are:

1. This is a sign that many connecting areas of the body are not receiving the right stretches that it needs. My flexibility training programs are designed to address what has been holding you back and provide authenticated solutions.


2. Do not hold any painful stretches or poses for long. Breathe into it and get out. Repeat. Until the body gets used to it. This is how the breakthrough happens by allowing your body to process in between


3. Remember the more you stretch, and flexibility train the entire body the bigger the payoff!

4. Need help choosing the best flexibility program tailored to your exact needs. Contact me for a free consultation

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