(Supta Kapotasana): Techniques, Benefits, Variations

Level – Beginner

Reclined Pigeon/Ankle to Knee Pose

(Supta Kapotasana)

Reclined Pigeon Pose Prep & Practice

1

Come to lie down on the floor with your back resting on the mat, knees bent, and soles of the feet on the floor.

2

Bring the right knee into the chest. Flex through the foot and cross the right ankle over the left knee.

3

Option to stay here, or if you would like to take it a bit deeper lift the left foot off of the ground. Thread both hands through the legs to grab a hold of the back of the left thigh.

4

Make sure that your ankle is on the knee, not just the edge of your foot. Keep this right foot flexed generously.

5

Relax the shoulders, unclench the jaw, and breathe deeply.

6

To come out of this posture, slowly lower the left foot to the floor and uncross the legs. Balance it out by practicing on the other side.

Variations/Modifications

  • Keep the left sole on the floor, instead of reaching to hold the back of the thigh
  • Prop a block or blanket underneath the head if shoulders or neck lift from the floor
  • Loop a strap around the thigh if you cannot reach through the legs

Physical, Mental, and Emotional Benefits

  • Opens up the hips
  • Increases flexibility in the hamstrings
  • Calming reduces stress
  • Releases tension in the low back

Contraindications

  • Knee or hip injury
  • Low back injury
  • Hamstring injury

Thoughtful Sequencing

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana), Seated Spinal Twist/Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana) Left and Right, Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana), Reclined Pigeon/Ankle to Knee (Supta Kapotasana) Left and Right, Reclined Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana) Left and Right, Corpse Pose (Savasana)

 

 

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