Hip Opener • 3 to 5 minutes per side
Bolster (or 2 rolled blankets or a large pillow)
- If you have a knee injury, substitute Reclining Pigeon.
- Gently stretches your hip rotators including the piriformis muscle, and hip flexors such as the psoas muscle, the deep hip flexor muscles that can become chronically contracted if you spend extended periods sitting.
- Supports your hips in healthy, normal external rotation, countering the effects of sitting and walking.
- Can alleviate lower back, hip, and sciatic nerve pain.
Restorative Yoga Poses : Supported Pigeon Photo Gallery
- . Come to your hands and knees with the bolster out long in front of you. Slide your right knee forward, keeping the bolster inside your knee, and your left knee back.
- . Adjust the bolster so it touches your pelvis, then bow forward so it supports the front of your left hip, your torso, and either cheek.
- . Remain in Supported Pigeon for 3 to 5 minutes. To exit, press your hands down and slide your right knee back to come back to hands and knees. Change sides and repeat the pose on the other side.
Irritation of the sciatic nerve (which travels from your lower back down the back of each leg) can produce a burning sensation from your buttocks down your legs. This irritation can be caused by a disc injury (in which case you should see a doctor) or a tight piriformis muscle, which is a small muscle deep in your buttocks. Fortunately, the latter can be relieved by gentle and regular stretching of the piriformis, through poses like Supported Pigeon. If you suffer from sciatic pain and find this pose offers relief, do it daily.