Asana Spotlight | Ardha Kapotasana

Our all time favourite pose as we melt into the autumn months is Ardha Kaptosana. In sanskrit, ‘ardha’ means half, ’kapota’ means pigeon and ‘asana’ translates as pose. In ancient Hindu mythology Kapota was a master yogi whose vitality, agility and strength could not be surpassed. He was the graceful son of Garuda, the triumphant bird-god and vehicle of Lord Vishnu. It is said that by practicing this posture, the qualities of Kapota can be harnessed from within. Half-Pigeon Pose is quite a marvellous hip opener. The front bent leg increases the external hip rotation, stretches the outer hip, glute and piriformis while the extended back leg stretches the psoas and quad muscle. The upper body then melts over that front bent leg, lengthening the side body and deepening into a more yin-like pose. To add more fire, this pose can also evolve into what is known as Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, or One-Footed King Pigeon. For this, bend your back knee and catch one hand to foot for a deeper quad stretch and heart-opener. Breathe deep and absorb the great powers of Kapota!