One-legged King Pigeon Pose / Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I
Eka means one, pada the leg or foot and kapota a dove or pigeon.
Rajakapota means the king of pigeons. In this asana, the chest is pushed forward like that of a pouter pigeon, hence the name of the pose.
1. Sit on the floor, with the legs stretched straight in front.
2. Bend the right knee and place the right foot on the floor so that the right heel touches the left groin. Keep the right knee on the floor.
3. Take the left leg back and rest its entire length straight on the floor. The front of the left thigh, knee and shin and the upper part of the toes of the left foot will then touch the floor.
4. Place the palms on the waist, push the chest forward, stretch the neck, throw the head as far back as possible and balance for some time in this preparatory movement of the pose.
5. Now rest the hands on the floor in front, bend the left knee and lift the left foot up near to the head. The left leg from the knee to the ankle should be perpendicular to the floor and to achieve this, tighten the muscles of the left thigh.
6. With an exhalation, take the right arm over the head and grip the left foot with the right hand. Take a few breaths. Then exhale again and catch the left foot with the left hand. Rest the head against the left foot.
7. Push the chest forward, move the hands further down, grip the ankles and lower the head so that the upper lip touches the left heel. Stay in the pose for about 10 seconds. As the chest is expanded fully while the abdomen is contracted, breathing will be fast. Try and breathe normally.
8. Release the grip of the hands on the left ankle one by one and place the palms on the floor. Straighten the left leg and bring it in front, then straighten the right leg.
9. Repeat the pose on the other side for the same length of time. This time the left foot will touch the right groin, the right leg will be stretched back and the right foot will be caught by extending both arms over the head.
Effects of the Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Cycle
These poses rejuvenate the lumbar and dorsal regions of the spine. The neck and shoulder muscles are fully exercised and the various positions of the legs strengthen the thighs and ankles. The thyroids, parathyroids, adrenals and gonads receive a rich supply of blood and function properly, which increases vitality. In these poses more blood circulates round the pubic region, which is kept healthy. These asanas are recommended for disorders of the urinary system and for controlling sexual desire.
Source : Light on Yoga by BKS. Iyengar.