How To Do Sleeping Pigeon Pose

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chloe Freytag demonstrating Sleeping Pigeon Pose

Sleeping Pigeon Pose is a deep and powerful stretch for your hips. Going beyond the basic pigeon pose, this next step increases both the intensity of the stretch as well as the relaxation of the pose. The Sleeping Pigeon takes a basic hip-stretching pose and, by lowering the chest down to rest over the top of the stretching leg, adds a deeper sensation to the stretch.

A Basic Pigeon pose is one of the most commonly practiced in most yoga classes or workouts. People love to find positions like pigeon that focus on opening up the hips because the hip area is tight on most people whether they are active or inactive. It is important that you learn to do a proper Pigeon Pose before adding the Sleeping Pigeon Pose. However, once Pigeon is learned, Sleeping Pigeon is just one more step away.

Once you get settled into Pigeon Pose and your hips begin to open, you’ll slowly begin to lower your torso down over the leg on which you are sitting. Make sure to begin by placing the belly down, then the ribs, and finally the chest and head. This keeps your spine in proper alignment and gives you better posture and a deeper stretch.

Most people can learn to do Sleeping Pigeon Pose, but if you have had any knee injuries or surgeries this position can put pressure on your knee cap. Alternatively you can turn over onto your back and pull your leg toward your chest for a “supine pigeon”. This takes the pressure off the knee joint but gives a similar hip stretch.

Sleeping Pigeon Pose is a great pose to open your hips or low back if you feel tight.

These are the steps to help you learn How to Do Sleeping Pigeon Pose.

1) Begin in a plank position. Tighten your abdominals and pull your right knee toward your right hand placing your right foot as close to your left hand as you can.

2) Keep your back leg long and keep your hips even as you relax your weight through the middle of your hips.

3) Slowly begin to lower your chest over your front shin relaxing forehead on the mat and arms stretched overhead.

6) Breathe and hold for 30 seconds. Slowly lift chest up, step back into plank and switch sides.

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