How to progress with Pigeon?

I love Pigeon pose, but I feel like I’m not able to move fully into the pose (yet!). My front leg is not even close to parallel with front of the mat; it’s tucked backwards under my body. My butt doesn’t really touch the mat either (most days). I can still fold forwards over my front leg and it feels great, but I also feel like I’m stuck at this level. I want to move deeper into pigeon. Release those hips!

Are their poses/exercises/practices I can do to help those sticky spots and gradually find my deeper pigeon? Thanks in advance!

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I used to be there, too! Rachel has a great tutorial here on the site about pigeon pose!

Thank you! I’ll check this one out, though it isn’t my knees that are the issue with pigeon. Just the hips! I think it’s actually my lower back that can’t quite release enough…yet

Oh, I see! I think that David has some good classes on the lower back and the hips that are designed to help open the hips using a strap. You’ll get there! :slight_smile:

Terrific, I’ll look into those. Thank you!

This is a tricky pose for sure when our hips are tight, you can try doing figure 4 on your back or reclined pigeon pose. This will help make space in the hips in a more accessible way then Pigeon might get easier. You can also prop up your sitbone with a blanket or block that can help you find more ease in the pose so the muscles can relax.


Thank you, Fiji! I’ll try the blanket thing during my practice and remember to do my figure 4 more often :slight_smile:

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I had (and still do to some extent!) the same issue. It has taken me TWO years to slowly be able to get into a pose that now bears some resemblance to a pigeon pose like the DYWM teachers do! What i found helpful is ensuring that i regularly stretch the muscles down the back (hamstring) and outer (lateral) side of thighs that run along the IT band. This has made a massive difference. This allows you to get your leg more parallel to the top of the mat…very gradually! I’ve been going through peri-menopause too, so my muscles have really lost their elasticity over the last 2-3 yrs! If you are younger, I am sure you’ll be able to get there long before I did. Keep doing hip-openers, work on stretching the outer-leg muscles like I suggest, AND do try some Yin Yoga hip sessions by Sarah-Jane and Nyk - they include the pigeon pose so you can sit in the pose for extended times, which will help your flexibility. You could also look at David’s PNF stretching for the piriformis and the IT/TFL - these work on those outer leg muscles and are a challenge, but def worth it! Good Luck!

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Fantastic suggestions Linda!!!