Yoga Poses: The Pigeon Pose

December 5, 2008 by  
Filed under Yoga Poses

The regular practice of yoga offers a lot of benefits including: increasing the body’s flexibility; increasing lubrication of the joints, tendons and ligaments; exercising all organs of the body; flushing out waste and toxins; relaxing the mind and the body; and proper toning of the muscles. However, in order to experience all of these benefits, it is important to execute the poses properly.

One of the more common poses today in yoga would be the pigeon pose or the Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. This type of pose excellently stretches the thighs, the groin and the back. It also opens up the chest and the shoulders. The pigeon pose can make your hips more supple and flexible. Although the pose could make you breathless because of its depth, just continue practicing it and you will eventually see the improvement.

The pigeon pose has also been said to stimulate the internal organs, alleviate sciatic pain and relieve impinged piriformis, help in the treatment of urinary disorders, improve body posture and alignment, as well as release stress and tension. There are even some people who feel a rush of tension and emotions released that they cry as they execute the pose.

Athletes also find this yoga pose helpful for improving their overall health, agility and speed. There are several muscles that are stretched as the pigeon pose is executed. The major muscle that is stretched through the pigeon pose would be the gluteus maximus. It also stretches out other muscles including the gluteus minimus, piriformis, the superior gemellus, the inferior gemellus, the quadrates femoris, as well as the orbturator internus.

Here are the steps on how to properly execute the pigeon pose.

1. There are a number of ways on how to start executing the pigeon pose. One of the more common would be to come to it from the Downward Facing Dog pose or to be on all fours like a table.

2. Slowly slide your right knee forward going to your right hand. Point your right knee to the two o’ clock position.

3. Slide your left leg going backward as far as your hips can.

4. Make sure that your hips are kept square to the floor. If not, there would unnecessary force put on your back and you would not be able to open up your hips to the fullest. If you want, you can put some padding under your right buttock cheek to keep your hips square.

5. If you are not feeling your right glute being deeply stretched, try to gradually slide your right foot forward going to your left hand. Bring your foot parallel to the front edge of the mat.

6. Your right thigh must have an external rotation, while your left thigh must slightly have an internal rotation. This would keep the pressure off your knee cap.

7. For more advanced individuals, you can try resting on your forearms or resting your chest on the rest on the floor, fully extending both arms in front.

8. For a full release from the hips, breathe and release your belly. Try to stay in this position for at least 10 breaths up to five minutes.

Keep in mind that the pigeon pose should be avoided by individuals who have a back injury or an ankle injury. There are also certain knee injuries that could get worse with this yoga pose. If you are experiencing extreme tightness in your hips, it would also be advisable to avoid executing this pose.

Best Yoga Poses For Losing Weight

December 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Yoga Poses

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Practicing yoga regularly offers numerous benefits including relaxing your mind and body, strengthening your muscles and organs, reducing stress as well as improving your mental and your physical well-being. One of the more popular reasons why many people are beginning to practice yoga would be its effectiveness in helping to lose weight.

Losing weight through yoga could depend on what type of yoga you practice. Some of the types of yoga that are recommended for weight loss would include: Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga and Hot Yoga. There are also some yoga poses that have been proven to help in losing weight more efficiently. Here are some of them.

1. The Dancer’s Pose

Start in the Mountain pose. Bend your right leg slowly behind you and then grab the inner portion of your right foot. Extend your left arm overhead and then bend forward up until your torso is parallel along the floor. Raise your right leg behind as high you can as you maintain your balance. Hold the position for a few breaths and then repeat on the opposite side.

2. The Chair Pose

Stretch your arms overhead and then bend your knees to a 90-degree angle. While in this squatting position, maintain the length on your back and your neck. Hold the position for 30 seconds and then release to the Mountain pose.

3. The Reverse Warrior Pose

Begin by positioning your feet apart. Slowly raise your arms to the sides. Your ankles should be underneath your wrists. Curve your left foot slightly inwards and your right foot outwards. Bend your right leg to a 90-degree angle, while keeping your left leg straight. Slide your left hand down your left leg and toward your ankle. Raise your right arm overhead and then bend back as you gaze at your fingertips. Hold the position for a few breaths and repeat on your opposite leg.

4. The Downward Facing Dog Pose

Start on all fours and position your hands under your shoulders. Lift your hips and lengthen through your spine and straighten your legs.

5. The Opposite Arm Extension Pose

Starting in the tabletop position, slowly lift your right arm and then extend it forward. Follow by raising your left leg and extending it back. Hold the position for three breaths. This move can actually strengthen your abs, back, legs, hips and buttocks, which are areas prone to cellulite. Repeat thrice on each side.

Keep in mind, though, that although these positions may help you in losing weight through yoga, it would still be advisable help to make sure that you have good eating habits by eating a proper diet. With a good combination of these, you would surely be able to shed more pounds easily and healthily.