Enjoy A More Peaceful Pigeon Today

by tinareale on October 14, 2014

Pigeon pose. One of those poses people tend to either love or hate. Even if you love pigeon, the pose has a way of bringing up some discomfort. It may feel uncomfortable physically. Or maybe mentally – having to sit still for that long in a somewhat awkward position. Or maybe pigeon feels uneasy in an emotional sense, as hip opening postures are considered very closely related to our deep seated emotions.

No matter your take on pigeon, I firmly believe that setting up proper alignment in pigeon will help you find more peace in the posture. Your body can feel safe and supported, allowing for further release of tension – physically, mentally, emotionally, or in all three manners. Use these alignment cues to help you get safely into the pose and reap the full rewards.

How To Do Pigeon Pose

For more detail and help in the pose, check out this video to walk you through the pose from start to finish!

As always, listen to the body. There are ways to modify this pose:

  • setting up a blanket under the bent leg from hip to knee or a block under the hip (I prefer the blanket)
  • not folding all the way forward in the pose
  • bringing the front heel closer to the opposite hip – the shin does NOT need to be parallel to top of mat

However, if the pose doesn’t feel right for your body, choose a different hip opener. You should never feel any pulling in the knee, hips, groin, or ankle. Move wisely – always within a pain free range of motion.

**What about you? Is pigeon a love or hate pose for you?


1 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables October 14, 2014 at 7:40 am

My hips are so tight.. my foot is up against the opposite hip. BUT I’m working on it… Love these tips!

2 tinareale October 15, 2014 at 8:39 am

I actually prefer it closer to the hip…protects the knee better but still a good stretch. ;)

3 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries October 14, 2014 at 10:12 am

I looooove pigeon pose!! It’s easily one of my favorite stretches/yoga moves. My hips get tight easily (I’ve noticed this more since having Hunter?), so I always appreciate it.

4 lashaune October 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm

it’s my absolute favorite move even with modifications (usually a block under my hip). However, I get cramps when moving to Queen Pigeon.

5 tinareale October 15, 2014 at 10:24 am

Where do you get cramps? The outer hips? I find that happens for me too if I don’t really focus on lengthening the inner thighs away from each other to create more of a lift in the pelvis and feel lighter/more open into the outer hips when moving into the pose.

6 lashaune October 15, 2014 at 11:25 am

My cramps usually happen in my calf or feet in Queen Pigeon. I use a strap and block to alleviate the pressure.

Thanks for the follow-up

7 tinareale October 15, 2014 at 11:34 am

Of course! And in that case I would say to be mindful of if you’re over pointing the foot or clenching the toes at all instead of spreading them wide and lengthening the toes away from the foot/legs (especially big toe side of the foot). Hope that helps in some way, but otherwise glad you have some options with props to help as well.

8 Erin @ Her Heartland Soul October 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm

I didn’t know you were back! Welcome back!!

9 tinareale October 15, 2014 at 10:24 am

Just recently decided to give things a try with a yoga focus. :) How are you?!

10 Erin @ Her Heartland Soul October 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm

I’m good! I hope you are too! :D

11 Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine October 14, 2014 at 4:48 pm

No matter what I do, I just don’t “feel” pigeon pose.Is there any way to go deeper or are my hips just to flexible?

12 tinareale October 15, 2014 at 10:27 am

It is usually a tight area, but some people do have very open outer hips and don’t feel this pose as much. Do you find poses like baddha konasana (bound angle where soles of feet are together and knees are open) or wide straddle positions are harder for you? If so, it could be your outer hips are nice and open but inner thigh/groin is tighter, which is common for people with more open outer hips/thighs. Or it could just be you’re open in the pelvis but I’m sure feel tighter in other areas of the body. Nothing odd to not feel it in pigeon. Just less common. ;)

13 Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona October 14, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Pigeon is one of my favorites. It always feels like a treat when it’s done in class.

14 CARLA October 15, 2014 at 7:24 am

OH OH OH I spent so much of my day in this post for my hips too.

15 Linz @ Itz Linz October 15, 2014 at 8:23 am

love! such a great stretch for my tight hips! and my love i mean love-hate because it hurts so good! :)

16 tinareale October 16, 2014 at 6:32 am

Love Hate for sure!! ;)

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