Not Pigeon

Supported pigeon pose (salamba eka pada rajakapotasana)
A beautiful image of a pose shows beauty not safety. (salamba eka pada rajakapotasana photo by Elly Fairytale)

These poses get into your butt.

Go slow and feel how you move. These poses move muscles you cannot see and cannot easily touch. You are not going to learn them from words or images.

Warning: stop if you feel any strain or tingle or numbness. Please do not push at all.


Just sit there. And do nothing. Take time.

black modern dining chair without arms on white background

Sit on a firm chair of standard height, like a dining chair without arms. Sit in the middle away from the back. Have your knees wider than your hips. Put your feet flat on the floor, barefoot or in socks, with your shins vertical.

Let your elbows hang down from your shoulders and rest your palms on your thighs. Pull your shoulder blades back and down then let them just hang.

Rock your pelvis front and back and feel the curve of your back move. Find the tilt of your pelvis that feels good for your back.

Sit this way for a bit.

Cross your legs. Put a shin near your ankle on top of your thigh near your knee.

If that isn’t easy, then this position isn’t for you; try the next one.

Have your rotated knee out to the the side and sit with it for a while. And that may be all you need to do, just giving yourself time to relax into it.

Knees Crossed

Just lie there. And do nothing. This is so good.

Get on your back on the mat. Bring your knees up over your torso and cross your thighs. Rest your hands on top of your knees and support the outside of the joint with your fingers.

Let your lower legs hang down. Give your feet and legs a wiggle to help them relax and let go. Look at the ceiling. Just lie there and do nothing for a while.

So much of what I like doing and teaching is talking to our muscles gently and slowly and telling them that it is ok to let go and relax. This does that.

Half Lord of the Fishes

ardha matsyendrasana from

Yoga has many odd names.

Use both your hands behind your raised knee to firmly support the joint.

Focus on your butt rather than how much you twist your torso. Do the turn in your pelvis not your upper back. Feel the pull gently and hold. You want duration not intensity.

Fallen Pigeon

yoga pose, reclined rotated pigeon (kapotasana) nude human man figure

Don’t do pigeon on your back. Do pigeon on your side. Fall over.

Start on your back with your knees up. How far you raise your knees varies the intensity of this pose. Then cross a shin, near your ankle, over your opposite thigh next to your knee.

Then fall over. Roll all the way over onto your side so that the sole of your raised foot rests flat on the mat.

Put a hand firmly behind your raised knee to support it. Then turn your pelvis, not your the torso, away from your raised knee, and hold a very gentle pull.

Go slow. Do not go as far as you can into the pull. As soon as you feel the pull hold that position. This is a very stable pose with a lot of control; use that. You can still strain your knees and still overdo the pull in your butt. A very gentle pull held for like a minute is much better than pulling harder.

Legs Crossed

If you can comfortably sit straight up on the mat with your legs crossed, you have sufficiently supple hips.

You’re done. You don’t need more. You do not need to do anything to open your hips more than this. This is good and useful and enough.


A beautiful image of a pose shows beauty not safety. (eka pada rajakapotasana pose by Alexey Baykov)

You can hurt your knees. You can overdo the pull in your butt.

reclined pigeon pose (supta-kapotasana)

Don’t do reclined pigeon (supta kapotasana).

Doing supported pigeon (salamba kapotasana) needs a good teacher.

Kapotasana poses focus on extending the hip flexors, not pulling our butts. But we have easier ways to extend our hip flexors. So let’s use the name people know and work on our butts.