Anatomy and pigeon pose

Hello fellow yogurts! I’ve rarely been able to relax into pigeon pose because I can feel something (my tendon? ligament? glute?) stretching and sliding over my pelvis-- the ischial tuberosity, I think. It feels like a rubber band is stretched haphazardly over the long ends of a baseball bat, is slowly sliding off to one side, and will pop off after reaching a critical point. I hold some tension in my pose to keep that “rubber band” centered. Holding the tension makes the stretch feel artificial (more like an awkward position than a deep stretch) and the “pop” has never hurt when I’ve allowed it to happen, but for some reason I am a little afraid of letting it loose. I’ve tried leaving the pose to shake it out and get back into it, but it doesn’t help.

This happens occasionally in other hip poses too, where it feels like I’ve just gotten my tendons wrapped around the wrong side of my bones, but pigeon is where I feel it most consistently. Interestingly it doesn’t seem to happen in other pigeon-esque stretches, like sitting with stacked knees over ankles and leaning forward, or laying on my back, placing an ankle on a knee, and pulling my knee towards my chest.

What exactly is happening? Do I just need to get used to the fact that this won’t cause pain and learn to relax and let my inners mosey around? Is there a better way to move into the pose so the “rubber band” is placed in a more stable spot and wont shift? Any advice or commiseration would be appreciated.

What you are most likely feeling is your hamstring as it does connect to the ischial tuberosity, it can feel like it is sliding around there. Good new is that it won’t slide off or disconnect. If there is not any pain you can explore loosening into the pose or letting go more. You don’t want to force your way into this pose or push into the insertion of the hamstring. Have you tried proping something under the hip of the bent knee? This might lighten the angle and allow you to feel safe relaxing more fully.

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