How to Fly a Pigeon

Flying pigeon, also known as Eka Pada Galvasana, is an advanced Yoga pose and one of the most visually elegant and mindfully courageous postures in the practice. It requires fully open hips, core and arm strength, balance and a great amount of willpower.

The practice of Yoga allows one to overcome the limitations that they have unconsciously set inside their minds. Seeing a Flying Pigeon Pose from an experienced Yoga teacher may seem easy, but this pose is a combination of awareness, both of the body and mind, and patience.

Be Free! Fly High!

Eka Padda Galvasana strengthens the arms, wrists, and shoulders. It also tones abdominal muscles and improves core strength. Flying Pigeon Pose also increases hip’s range of motion, improves balance and kick metabolism up.

Flying Pigeon may seem intimidating, and if practiced without proper approach, frustration will surely slow your progress. Remember that all the barriers that could stop your growth solely exist inside your head. Set your intention with a good heart and an open mind, surely anything will be reachable. Here are some Yoga poses that will effectively help familiarize your body with the technique while strengthening the muscles that will be directly activated during the pose. Also make sure to wear comfortable leggings while doing this pose.

Reclining Thread-the-Needle/ Supta Kapotasana. Flying Pigeon requires deep hip opening and this pose is the best way to warm up the hips before the full posture.

How:

  1. Start by lying on your back, then extend both legs up.
  2. Flex your feet to protect your knees from any injury.
  3. Bend your right knee and place your right ankle on your left knee, externally rotating your hip.
  4. Then draw your left knee closer to your chest by bending it and interlacing your fingers behind your left thigh.
  5. Place a yoga strap behind your left thigh if your left knee can’t bend deeper.
  6. Make sure that your shoulders are not caving in.
  7. Hold this pose for 3-5 breaths and do the same technique on the other leg.

Crow Pose/ Bakasana. This arm balance is the basic foundation of all other arm balances. Mastering this basic asana will open the door to more advanced postures. This strengthens the arms, wrists, shoulders, and core. It also helps muscle memory remember your balance point.

How:

  1. Start in seated squat position with your hands in prayer.
  2. Place them on the ground, round your back and take a deep breath in.
  3. Exhale as you slide your hands closer to your torso and lift your hips up.
  4. Take one foot off the floor, then the other.
  5. Push away from the ground to activate shoulders and your core.
  6. Hold this arm balance for 3-5 deep breaths and slowly bring your feet back to the ground to release.

Full Posture: Flying Pigeon/ Eka Pada Galvasana. The full posture is basically a combination of the first two preparatory poses. It strengthens the arms, wrists, shoulders, and core. This pose also increases hip mobility and balance.

How:

  1. Begin by standing in Tadasana or Mountain Pose.
  2. Then place your left ankle above your right knee while keeping your hands in prayer.
  3. Breathe in and then exhale while you send your hips back to a One-Legged Chair Pose.
  4. You could also sit all the way down and rest on your right foot.
  5. Plant your hands on the ground and hook your left ankle to your right triceps while your right knee rests on your right elbow.
  6. Slowly shift your weight forward and lift your right foot off the ground.
  7. Extend your right leg up and behind while you balance with awareness.
  8. Hold this posture for 3-5 breaths and do the same technique on the other leg.

To avoid hurting yourself, do not rush into full posture. Always listen to your body and do not force any movement. Avoid doing arm balances if you are suffering from any wrist or shoulder injury. Be patient with yourself and always approach challenging paths with faith and composure. And most importantly, have fun!

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