FLYING PIGEON

Key Actions to Balance in Flying Pigeon Pose

Flying pigeon

Flying Pigeon: Balance

Flying Pigeon is an exceptionally challenging pose for several reasons, strength, balance, flexibility for starters. Learning to balance on the hands requires tremendous strength in the flexors of the wrist, or what I call in my Handstand Trainings, “The Breaks”. Appropriately named because strength in the flexors of the wrist are what stop you from falling when on your hands. You will hear me in the video talking about gripping the ground, this is the action that will turn on the breaks. In the Live Stream on 3-25-2020 that this video is taken from, I went over a little drill that you can try out. On all fours, grip your fingers into the ground. With one hand, challenge the opposite hand by trying to pick up the fingers off the ground. Let’s say your right hand is on the ground, right hand try’s its best to dig its fingers into the earth. Left hand try’s to pick right hand’s fingers up. Switch rolls. Reading about this won’t do anything so you will have to get it in your body to really get it…did it? great! let’s continue. Whenever you are on your hands in your yoga practice maintain this type of activation to build strength in your breaks over time.

Flexibility

I still remember my first flying pigeon, I was in Elena Browers Anusara Yoga class, My hips were super tight back then. She had some great techniques to help us open our hips, many of which I still implement into my own practice and share in my online trainings , and live streams.  In one of my recent articles on compass pose I spoke of the topic that flexibility requires technique more than it does forcing repetitive stretches. To increase flexibility for flying pigeon you need to target several muscle groups which I call the 4 Quadrants of the hips – All 4 quadrants (front, back, inside, backside) can be targeted within your yoga practice by activating them isometrically through the postures. If you have been practicing live or in person with me than you are very familiar with this approach, and if you haven’t felt the benefits, you will soon with repetition. To give you one example to try, get into warrior 2 and pull your feet toward each other, like you are trying bunch up the mat under your feet. This activates the inner quadrant of the back leg, and the back quadrant of the front leg. Over time this will create health in these muscle groups which will directly increase your range of motion. 

Strength

When learning this posture, it is very helpful to pull the back knee into the chest which will activate the hip flexors and lower abdominals which helps in two ways. First it helps to keep the shin on the arm if the front hip is tighter. Second it helps keep the weight of you body forward which is required to maintain the balance in the posture. 

This postures can be deceptively challenging so go easy on your self if you find it incredibly difficult. Try these tips, and remember that strength and flexibility require technique and repetition. Enjoy!

 

Previous Live 3-25-20

  • Techniques for flying pigeon pose
  • Themed: Abhyasa & Vairagya 
  • Harnessing the Power of the mind
  • Strengthen: Wrist, Core, Shoulders and Glutes

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