5 STEPS TO MAKE PIGEON POSE THE BEST HIP STRETCH

IS YOUR PIGEON LAZY?

PIGEON

DOES PIGEON POSE INCREASE FLEXIBILITY?

Is Pigeon pose the best hip stretch? The quick answer: it depends on how you do it. Somebody told me recently on Instagram that I was blessed with open hips. Ha! If only they’d seen me when I first started practicing. My hips were so tight I needed not just one block, but block towers under my legs to come into almost any seated pose. So yes, twenty years later I am blessed with open hips, but only after doing the work to get them.

That said, each of us has unique anatomy so the way my hips open may not be the way yours open. What I hear a lot is something like, “I’ve been practicing for years and I still haven’t increased my flexibility. Likely this is due to the lack of technique – muscle engagements, and joint articulations that result in increased flexibility or range of motion.

WHY ALIGNMENT ACTUALLY MATTERS

In today’s video, I’ll show you a way of making Half Pigeon Pose the best hip stretch by using a block. Not only will this approach help to make this pose more accessible, but it will highlight your muscular patterns.

This is important; the reason alignment and technique matter is not because there is a right or wrong way to do a pose – that’s a completely fictitious concept because it requires that we define a context for what right and wrong means when it comes to making shapes. There is no agreed-upon idea of right and wrong and so there can be no right alignment. However, alignment matters within the context of increasing body awareness and efficacy when striving to increase flexibility.

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IF YOU DO PIGEON POSE WITHOUT ALTERING YOUR ALIGNMENT OR ENGAGING YOUR MUSCLES, YOUR POSE WILL BE COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. IN ORDER TO MAKE PIGEON POSE THE BEST HIP STRETCH, YOU CAN FOLLOW THE 5 STEPS BELOW

This is because your body will always avoid stretching what is tight and it will always tend to stretch what is already flexible. The same is true for strength – when you do an action your body will use the strongest muscles by default, even if there are better muscles for the job. The body will always tend toward efficiency and the path of least resistance unless you use the power of your will to strengthen what is weak and lengthen what is tight.

The following video is a short clip of one approach to make pigeon pose the best hip stretch that it can be! This approach is sure to take you out of your normal patterns. Practicing pigeon in this way may require more muscle activation and be less “lazy” however, it will produce the desired results of increasing flexibility.

5 Steps to Make Pigeon Pose The Best Hip Stretch

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5 STEPS TO INCREASE FLEXIBILITY WITH PIGEON POSE

Step 1 Pigeon Pose Best Hip Stretch

Step 1 - Start in Downward Facing Dog

 Place a block between your hands, at a slight diagonal, left side angled down. Lift your right leg to the sky and sweep your leg forward, externally rotating your inner thigh and resting your bent leg on the block.

step 2 Pigeon pose best hip stretch

Step 2: EVERT FRONT ANKLE

Flex and evert your front foot, grounding the pinkie toe into the mat and reaching forward with your big toe.

step 3 Pigeon pose best hip stretch

Step 3: Activate your legs.

Press your front shin and knee into the block to activate the buttocks. Pull your back knee forward to activate hip flexors – your hips will rise.

step 4 Pigeon pose best hip stretch

Step 4: Rotate thigh and pelvis inward

Tuck your back toes, lift your knee, spin your back thigh IN so your pelvis rotates in. Set your back knee down and use your toes to walk your back leg further back. 

step 5 Pigeon pose best hip stretch

Step 5: bow your torso toward your foot

 Without moving your hips, walk your hands and torso off to the left and fold, resting on blocks or your forearms. Stay here for five breaths and repeat other side.

THE PROBLEM WITH LAZY PIGEON

If you are doing lazy pigeon to rest and not necessarily to increase range of motion in the hips then there is no problem; you will get exactly what you came for. However, if you are trying to make pigeon pose the best hip stretch it can possibly be, then you need to go against your patterns otherwise, you will be forever stretching what already is flexible, eventually leading to injury (most likely).

This version of pigeon is one of many that I use to shake up my patterns. For another variation I recommend my blog Pigeon Without Knee Pain.

Thanks for tuning in. If you are interested in Hip Openers I suggest the following class packages

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