Pigeon Pose Possibilities

Pigeon Pose Possibilities

Actionable Steps to Refine Your Alignment



The word “possibility” is so powerful—it’s deeply connected to the word “hope.” Possibilities is an even better word because that means there are multiple options, with more opportunities to find what aligns with you. Hearing this in a yoga class can really support your ability to be more at ease; there may just be an option that will assist you in your desired pursuit within a specific practice, which may turn into a favorable experience you weren’t even expecting. In Matt’s classes, you’ll find an abundance of possibilities to completely transform your asana practice in the most positive way. This can be attributed to the fact that he breaks down each posture in great detail. In today’s Pigeon Pose tutorial, you’ll come away with the knowledge of how to make appropriate adjustments for your body in various stages and variations of the posture.

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Pigeon Pose is an excellent hip opener, no doubt about that, but can we even enhance this effect and increase the benefits? There are some alignment cues that can help! For example, Matt directs you towards the articulation of the ankle. You’ll see in today’s video that he instructs you to dorsiflex both feet. You might also be propped up on 2 blocks, one under the front shin and one under the buttock of the front leg, with the front foot hanging just off the block to make room for maximum dorsiflexion. If you take your attention to the back foot, this is where you can increase the stretch in the front hip. It’s the dorsiflexion of the back foot—pressing the ball of the foot down, lifting your hips up, and pulling yourself back—that creates the deeper stretch.




Grabbing a chair and incorporating it into your Pigeon Pose practice can really revolutionize your experience. A good place to start might be to sit on the chair and cross one ankle over your knee. Leaning forward in that shape can boost the stretch sensation.

Let’s look at the other possibilities Matt offers. There’s a lot to explore. Other variations with the chair offer options if you need to be higher off of the ground. At the same time, this setup presents opportunities for you to achieve greater range in your hips. By adding blocks in your setup, you can achieve significant range while respecting various progressions. 

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Even though “getting a deeper stretch” is associated with being the “goal” when it comes to a hip-opening posture like Pigeon Pose, it’s important to be discerning when it comes to what is appropriate for you at a given time. Going into deeper range should only be considered when you can maintain a level of strength and stability in your positioning.

In the last variation, you are shown how to gradually and safely explore the range. As in the first variation, the back toes are curled under and you lift your hips up to more easily manipulate the movement of the pelvis. At this point, you rotate your pelvis towards the midline, which creates more of a twist and that deeper stretch.  

In this and any variation, you can decide how much is appropriate.

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Understanding hip health begins with increased awareness of your body. As previously mentioned, taking your time as you explore alignment and range in each variation can provide you with a lot of feedback. What is presenting itself? Is it hypomobility or hypermobility? 

Healthy hips are made up of strength, mobility, stability, and flexibility. If you tend to be hypermobile, for example, incorporating strength into the ranges you explore can be extremely beneficial. On the other hand, hypomobility doesn’t mean that you neglect strength, which in this case may also be extremely beneficial. The key is to be even more cautious and patient when it comes to increasing stretch sensation and range.

In Matt’s Alignment Immersion, you’ll discover much about Pigeon Pose while building a deeper connection to your body.

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Alignment Immersion, Splits Immersion & Hip Mobility Immersion

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