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Pigeon pose benefits:
Opens the hips, increasing flexibility and mobility Stretches the hip flexors (the muscles in the front of the body that connect your torso with your legs) Can alleviate discomfort from sciatic impingement by stretching the piriformis muscle (deep muscle beneath the glutes). Tones the organs of digestion. Strengthens the abdominal muscles Strengthens and stretches the glutes, one of your body’s most powerful muscles. Can help improve running and squatting ability. Stretches the spine and reduces tension surrounding the lower back.
In order to do the Pigeon Pose correctly, here are the steps:
Begin in a cross-legged seated position at the top of your mat. You will be facing the short edge of your mat. Shift your weight into your right hip so that it is on the ground, and transition your left leg so that it extends out behind you in a straight line from your left hip. The top of your back foot will be resting on the ground. Redistribute your weight so that it is even between both hips. Let your butt relax down into the ground. If you are very flexible in your hips, you can align your shin so that it is parallel with the top short edge of your mat. If you are less flexible, you can draw your foot closer to your groin to allow the outer thigh to rest toward the floor. Make sure the outer side of your shin is resting on the ground, not the top of your shin. Also make sure the inner thigh is facing the sky so that the outer thigh is resting on the ground. The rotation comes from the hip. You shouldn’t feel any pressure in the knee. Actively press your left foot against the ground to keep the left leg engaged with no weight resting on the knee joint. Keep your hips and shoulders squared forward toward the top short edge of the mat. Use your hands on the ground, with palms beneath your shoulders, for support. Lengthen your spine, as you draw your shoulders down away from your ears. Walk your hands forward, lowering your chest toward the ground. Bend your elbows and rest your forearms on the ground for support. For maximum benefits, keep your weight in your hips. Engage your core and square your hips throughout the entire duration of the pose. This supports your spine and protects your low back. You should feel a deep stretch in the front of the back thigh and the outside of the right hip and glutes. Repeat on the other side.
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