3, 2, 1… Your Flying Pigeon is Cleared For Take-off!

3, 2, 1… Your Flying Pigeon is Cleared For Take-off!

Eka Pada Galavasana, a.k.a Flying Pigeon is tricky to navigate because not only does it require upper body strength and a strong core, but awesome hip flexibility that allows your knee to rotate fully outwards. Creating a solid base is imperative in providing the structure needed to lift up and away from.

Before going into this one, make sure that you warm up your outer hips well. Be sure to include 1-Legged Pigeon Pose on the floor in your warm up.

Begin in Figure 4 Balance, with your right ankle over your left knee, ankle flexed. Reach your hands to the floor (you may need to lift your bottom heel up in order to reach) as if you’re doing Chaturanga, with your elbows bent ninety degrees, stacked directly over wrists, fingertips nice and wide.

Once you’ve got your arms set, here are the 3 tips to help your Pigeon Take Flight:

  1. Create more space at your base of balance by using your shin diagonally, rather than horizontally. Place the top of your right shinbone directly into your right armpit, then make a VERY strong hook with your right toes directly over your left elbow. When you look down at your right shinbone, you should see a diagonal line now rather than straight across.
  2. Press your right shinbone powerfully down against your triceps, engage your pelvic floor and draw your belly in like crazy. See if you are maintaining strength enough to draw your left heel to your bum and balance there.
  3. Feel free to stop here for now, or continue your flight path by engaging your left buttock and hamstring, lifting your leg up, up, up!!!

….and away you go!!!!!

Kelli Russell
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  • Jenny Harkleroad
    Posted at 22:16h, 18 July Reply

    I think I need to sign up for tricks of the trade for beginners:).

    • Kelli
      Posted at 15:01h, 07 September Reply

      Here’s trick of the trade #1 for beginners for 1 legged flying crow. Practice 1 legged chair. That’s it! The other poses that you do in an active yoga class such as pigeon pose, lunges, standing warrior poses, firelog pose, cowface pose, butterfly, & other seated folds will help you open your hips. The chaturangas and cobra poses will give you the arm strength with a bent-elbow focus. All of the poses give you core strength as you activate your Mula Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha. Put the openness from the hip stretches with the core/arm strength and voila! For most people, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s years of practice coming together. (Unlike some people I know who get Chakrasana/backwards sommersault into chaturanga their first try and may also have the initals J.H.)!

  • Jenny Hefferon Harkleroad
    Posted at 23:39h, 05 October Reply

    And step #4, print out this great article and put in front of your face on the ground so you have a reference during take off in case you stall. : ) Love it!

  • kellirussellyoga
    Posted at 15:17h, 06 October Reply

    Hahaa! Absolutely!!!

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