In this crazy world, we all feel emotional pain at some point in life, and caring for your heart, will definitely assist you in keeping your emotional and spiritual self, open to receiving and giving love from the world, in spite of all the emotional challenges.
And what better way to do that than doing some backbends.
During a backbend, the heart receives a stretch, thereby increasing its efficiency in pumping blood. The diaphragm will receive slight pressure and oxygen rich blood will rush to this area, thereby catalysing healing. On a more internal level, it is highly beneficial for your respiratory system, digestive system, kidneys, circulation and heart.
The Pigeon Pose is a backbend pose, done in a seated position resembling the stance of a pigeon and is an advanced yoga pose. A few of the benefits of the Rajakapotasana are listed below
1. This asana stretches the entire lower body
2. It massages the abdominal organs, thereby improving digestion
4. It improves flexibility in the hip area, chest area and also helps in strengthening the groin
5. The deep stretch relieves the body of stress and anxiety
6. It also improves the functioning of the urinary and reproductive systems
On a spiritual and emotional level, we have 3 chakras at the back, all of which need to be cleansed for spiritual pathways to flow with balance. People who have experienced emotional discomfort in the past like heartbreak, bitterness, fear of letting go, generally have tightness in the back. This is one of the reasons why backbends are referred to as “Heart Openers”.
How To Do The Rajakapotasana
1. Placing your palms and feet on the floor in Adhomukhasvanasana, gently slide your right knee forward, such that it is just behind your right wrist. While you do this, place the right shin under your torso, and bring your right foot in front of your left knee. The outsides of your right shin must rest on the floor.
2. Slide your left leg to the back. Straighten your knee, and drop the front of your thighs to the floor. Lower the outsides of your right buttocks on the floor, placing your right heels in front of your left hip.
3.Angle your right knee towards the right, such that it is outside the line of the hip.
4. Your left leg should extend itself straight out of the hip. Rotate it inwards, such that its midline is pressed against the floor. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, bend your left leg at the knees. Then, push your torso back and stretch as much as you can so that your head touches your foot.
5. Lift your arms up, gently folding them at your elbows. Use your hands to bring your foot towards your head.
6. Maintain the upright position of your pelvis. Push it as low as possible. Then, lift the lower rims of your rib cage against the pressure of the thrust. To lift up your chest, push the top of your sternum straight up and towards the ceiling.
7. Stay in this position for at least a minute. Bring your hands back to the floor and drop your left knee down. Gently slide the left knee forward. Exhale and come up to the Adho Mukha Svanasana. Take a few breaths. Then, come back on your fours and breathe. As you exhale, do the asana with your left leg forward and right leg at the back.
The Science Behind The Rajakapotasana
The full expression of Rajakapotasana requires a combination of strength and flexibility throughout the body. The back, the shoulders and the hips need to be extremely flexible to perform this asana. Many sports people who run and jump, with tight hips may take years of practice to achieve this pose. People with sedentary, sitting jobs, who also have tight hips can practice different versions of this asana and slowly loosen up the hip flexors. Finally, it can be concluded that this is a powerful hip opener.
King Pigeon requires patience, practice and serious warm up. It may not be accessible for all bodies. Start where you are. Move from there and enjoy every discovery along the journey.