Ardha Kapotasana or the Half Pigeon Pose resembles a pigeon in the final position. In Sanskrit, Ardha means half, Kapota means Pigeon and Asana means a pose. It is an intermediate level pose and helps to open up the hips and groin muscles.
Ardha Kapotasana is an excellent pose to bring flexibility to the hips and legs. Those who wish to master Padmasana can practice Ardha Kapotasana to open up the hips and to make the leg muscles flexible.
Ardha Kapotasana should be avoided by those suffering from any kind of knee or hip injury.
How to do Ardha Kapotasana (Half Pigeon Pose)?
- Sit on the floor in the kneeling position or Vajrasana.
- Bend forward and place your hands on the floor with palms touching the ground. Let the hands be placed about 2 feet apart or the shoulder length.
- From this position, raise yourself up to the cat pose or Marjariasana.
- Spread out the knees so that there is a shoulder length gap between the two knees.
- Now bring the left foot forward and bend it sideways towards the right. Place the left foot just in front of the right knee.
- Stretch the right leg behind and straighten the right knee.
- Place the hands on the floor next to the hips.
- Raise the chest and head. Gaze straight ahead.
- Breathe slowly and deeply and maintain the position for as long as you are comfortable. In this final position, the practitioner looks like the pigeon from the sides.
- To release the position, raise yourself up and slide back the left leg to the cat pose or Marjariasana.
- Repeat the steps with the right leg bend and the left leg stretched behind.
- Once the practitioner has mastered the above pose, a further step can be done by bending the right leg upwards and holding the toes with the hands from over the head. This is difficult for beginners and will need good flexibility of the entire body.
Benefits of Ardha Kapotasana (Half Pigeon Pose)
- Ardha Kapotasana stretches the legs and the groin muscles.
- The hips are opened up and made flexible.
- It is good for the organs of the abdomen and the reproductive organs.
- This is an excellent asana for those who want to master Padmasana. This asana will loosen up the leg muscles and reduce the pain when you sit in Padmasana.
- It broadens the chest and shoulders and can correct postural defects.
- Ardha Kapotasana can relieve lower back pain and stiffness of the back muscles.
- It alleviates sciatica pain.
There are many minor variations of Kapotasana. The Ardha Kapotasana should be first mastered before taking up the full pigeon pose or Kapotasana.