Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon)
This asana is a very deep backbend that pronounces the sternum and the chest making the practitioner resembling to a dove or a pigeon. This asana thus can be performed as follows;
- Place your knees directly below your hips, and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders. Slide your right knee forward to the back of your right wrist; at the same time angle your right shin under your torso and bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. The outside of your right shin shall now be resting on the floor. Slowly slide your left leg back, straightening the knee and descending the front of the thigh onto the floor. Lower the outside of your right buttock to the floor. Position the right heel just in front of the left hip.
- The right knee will be angling slightly to the right, outside the line of the hip. Look back at your left leg. It should extend straight out of the hip (and not be angled off to the left), and rotated slightly inwardly, so its midline presses against the floor. Try to square the hips to the front. Exhale and lay your torso down on the inner right thigh for a few breaths, with the intention of squaring the hips to the floor. Stretch your arms forward. Stay in this position for as long as desired.
- Now slide your hands back towards the front shin and push your fingertips firmly into the floor. Lift your torso away from the thigh. Lengthen the lower back by pressing your tailbone down and forward; at the same time, and lift your pubis toward the navel. Roll your left hip point toward the right heel, and lengthen the left front groin.
- If you can maintain this upright position of your pelvis without the support of your hands on the floor, bring your hands to the top rim of your pelvis. Push heavily down. Against the pressure, and lift the lower rim of your rib cage. The back ribs should lift a little faster than the front. Without shortening the back of your neck, drop your head back. In order to lift your chest, push the top of your sternum straight up towards the ceiling.
- Maintain this posture for a while. Then, with your hands placing them back on the floor, carefully slide the left knee forward, then exhale and lift up and back into Adho Mukha Svanasana.
- After this take a few deep breaths, drop the knees to all-fours on another exhalation, and repeat with the legs reversed for the same length of time.
The benefits of this asana are:
- This asana brings about the stretching of the thighs, groins, abdomen, chest, shoulders and the neck.
- It brings about the stimulation of the abdominal organs.
- Opens up the hips, shoulders and the chest.
- It has a great therapeutic value in various urinary disorders.
Precautionary measures for this asana are:
- This asana must not be performed if you are suffering from ankle injury, knee injury, or sacroiliac injury.