As a runner, it is not uncommon that my hips, glutes, and IT bands are always tight. Maybe not always always, but it often feels that way. With that said, one of my favorite love-to-hate poses that we do in yoga is half (or sleeping) pigeon.
For half pigeon, your legs basically look like they are in a #7 with one leg straight back behind you and the other knee bent in front of you with the foot flexed, then you fold your body over that front leg. The stretch is deep, but to go deeper you can walk your hands out further and rest your forehead on your mat.
Like I said, I love-to-hate it as it just hurts so good! I find half pigeon to be one of the best hip stretches for my body, but it definitely doesn’t work for everyone. Keeping the foot of your bent leg flexed helps protect your knees, but for some, this still may not feel well, in which case there are alternative stretches, but like I said, this feels the best on my body.
Let’s get into more of those benefits of pigeon pose…
- Stimulate organs
- Alleviates sciatic pain
- Stretches hips and groin
- Helps with urinary disorders
- Stretches the glutes
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Are you a fan of sleeping pigeon?