Lower body

Pigeon Pose: Yoga Moves

Benefits:

  • Stretches the TFL, a commonly tight muscle on the outer thigh.
  • Improves flexibility in the hips, glutes, and hamstrings.
  • Excellent cool-down move after a run.

How to do Pigeon:

Starting Position: Assume the Plank position. Hike your hips to the sky, forming a “V” with your body. Push your chest toward your thighs by using your hands to push away from the ground. Keep your heels on — or as close to — the ground as possible.

Movement: Bring one foot forward, tucking the knee in as much as you can. Line your heel up with opposite hip bone trailing behind. Press your back knee and shin into the ground, keeping the toes of your back leg active. Keep your chest tall and hold.

Return: Press your hands into the ground. Raise your hips by pressing off your back toes, releasing your bent leg and bringing the foot back to starting position.

Modification and Progression:

  • To simplify Pigeon, put a prop under your thigh. An alternative exercise is the Figure 4 stretch — lying on your back and crossing one ankle onto your thigh.
  • To advance Pigeon, place your same-side hand on your knee and the opposite hand on your shin. Press your torso away, feeling the stretch in your opposite upper thigh.

Movement Tips:

  • Keep your tailbone untucked at all times.
  • Extend your shoulders by pressing your hands into the ground.
  • Keep your chest up and back straight.

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