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Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose): Steps, Benefits and Modifications

This enchanting asana beautifully combines heart-opening with balance, inviting us to embrace our inner strength and vulnerability. So, let's spread our wings and journey into this graceful pose!

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)

The name Eka Pada Rajakapotasana is a mouthful, but fear not, we'll break it down! "Eka Pada" means "One-Legged," "Raja" signifies "King," and "Kapota" represents "Pigeon." This pose mirrors the elegance of a king pigeon while gracefully balancing on one leg.

Alright, let's tackle the Sanskrit pronunciation! Eka Pada Rajakapotasana is pronounced as "eh-kah pah-dah rah-jah-kah-poh-TAHS-anna." Practice it a few times, and soon you'll be pronouncing it like a yoga pro!

Before we delve into the how-to, let's understand the muscles involved in Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. This asana primarily targets the hip flexors, quadriceps, and psoas muscles, while stretching the chest and shoulders, encouraging a deep sense of openness.

How to Perform Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)

Now, let's explore the steps to gracefully enter Eka Pada Rajakapotasana:

  1. Begin in a tabletop position, aligning your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.

  2. Slide your right knee forward toward your right wrist, allowing your right shin to rest diagonally across your mat.

  3. Extend your left leg straight back behind you, keeping the top of your foot grounded on the mat.

  4. Inhale deeply, elongating your spine, and lift your chest upwards, embracing a heart-opening sensation.

  5. As you exhale, begin to walk your hands forward, lowering your upper body toward the mat.

  6. Be gentle and mindful of your body's limits, progressing only as far as feels comfortable for you.

  7. For a deeper stretch, you can fold your torso over your right leg, resting your forearms and forehead on the mat.

  8. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, enjoying the release and expansion.

  9. To come out of the pose, press your hands firmly into the mat, and with an inhale, slowly return to the tabletop position.

  10. Repeat the steps on the other side, bringing your left knee forward.

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)

When to Do It

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana can be a wonderful addition to your regular yoga practice. It's ideal for both morning and evening sessions, helping you kickstart your day with grace or unwind in the evening with serenity.

Preparatory Poses

To prepare your body for the One-Legged King Pigeon Pose, consider incorporating these poses into your routine:

  1. Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana): Practicing Pigeon Pose helps open your hips, making the transition into Eka Pada Rajakapotasana smoother.

  2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): Cobra Pose helps strengthen your back and shoulders, essential for maintaining balance during this heart-opener.

Follow-Up Poses

After relishing the grace of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, you can gently transition into these follow-up poses to complete your practice:

  1. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): Paschimottanasana helps stretch your hamstrings and lower back, offering a soothing counterpose.

  2. Child's Pose (Balasana): Balasana is a comforting, grounding pose that allows you to integrate the effects of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana.


Eka Pada Rajakapotasana stimulates the heart chakra, Anahata. As you open your heart in this pose, you invite compassion, love, and emotional balance into your life.

 heart chakra, Anahata

Mantra for this Pose

While gracefully moving into Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, you can connect with the mantra, "I am strong, yet vulnerable. I am balanced and open-hearted." This affirmation can deepen your experience and connection to the pose.

Alignment Cues

Maintaining proper alignment is key to avoiding injury and making the most of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. Here are some alignment cues to keep in mind:

  1. Ensure your right knee is aligned with your right wrist, and your right heel is close to your left hip.

  2. Keep your left leg straight back, with the top of your left foot grounded on the mat.

  3. Engage your core muscles to support your lower back and maintain balance.

  4. Roll your shoulders back and down, gently opening your chest.

  5. Lengthen your neck, and keep your gaze forward or slightly upwards to encourage heart opening.

Duration of Hold

As you explore Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, start with shorter holds, around 30 seconds, and gradually increase the duration to 1 minute or longer. Remember to breathe deeply and stay present throughout the pose.


Your drishti (gazing point) in Eka Pada Rajakapotasana can vary depending on your comfort and experience level. Beginners can focus on the front edge of their mat or a point on the floor. For those seeking a deeper practice, lift your gaze upwards, directing it towards the ceiling or even behind you, inviting an expansion of the heart.

Physical & Spiritual Awareness

As you gracefully enter Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, cultivate awareness of your breath and the sensations in your body. Embrace vulnerability and strength, both physically and emotionally, and allow this asana to create a harmonious balance within you.

Beginners’ Tips

If you're new to Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, here are some helpful tips to support your practice:

  1. Use Props: Placing a cushion or a block under your hip can provide extra support, especially if your hips are tight.

  2. Start with Pigeon Pose: Begin your practice with Pigeon Pose to warm up your hips and prepare for the deeper stretch of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana.

  3. Listen to Your Body: Be gentle with yourself and avoid forcing the pose. Let your body guide you, and respect its boundaries.

Who Should Not Do It

While Eka Pada Rajakapotasana offers many benefits, it might not be suitable for everyone. If you have any of the following conditions, it's best to avoid this pose or practice it under the guidance of a knowledgeable yoga instructor:

  1. Recent Hip or Knee Injury: This pose puts significant pressure on the hips and knees, which may worsen existing injuries.

  2. Chronic Hip or Back Pain: If you experience chronic pain in the hips or back, consider avoiding this pose.

  3. Pregnancy: Pregnant individuals should avoid deep hip stretches and heart-opening poses like Eka Pada Rajakapotasana.

Who Should Do It

For those seeking to embrace vulnerability and cultivate strength, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana is a wonderful addition to your practice. Intermediate and advanced practitioners can benefit from the deep hip and heart opening this pose offers.

Benefits of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)

Get ready to reap the benefits of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana:

  1. Hip Opening: This asana deeply stretches and opens the hip flexors, improving flexibility and relieving tension in the hips.

  2. Heart Opening: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana invites an expansion of the chest, promoting emotional release and a sense of vulnerability.

  3. Thigh Stretch: The pose stretches the quadriceps, enhancing flexibility in the thighs.

  4. Improves Balance and Focus: Balancing on one leg challenges your stability and concentration, enhancing focus.

  5. Emotional Release: The heart-opening aspect of this pose encourages the release of emotions and allows for self-expression.

Variations of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)

If you're eager to explore different facets of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, try these variations:

  1. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana with a Twist: In this variation, add a gentle twist by placing your opposite elbow outside your forward knee.

  2. King Pigeon Pose (Rajakapotasana): Take the full expression of this pose by folding both legs and opening your chest, creating a regal, heart-expanding sensation.

Modifications for Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)

Remember, everybody is unique, and modifications can help make the pose accessible. Here are some modifications to consider:

  1. Use Props: Place a cushion or block under your hip to support your body in the pose.

  2. Half Pigeon Pose: Instead of folding over your front leg, stay upright in Half Pigeon to focus on hip opening.

Common Mistakes

Let's avoid these common mistakes and ensure a safe and rewarding Eka Pada Rajakapotasana practice:

  1. Overextending the Back: Maintain a neutral spine to avoid over-arching and strain on the lower back.

  2. Neglecting the Hips: Focus on hip alignment to ensure a deep and safe stretch.

Safety and Precautions

As with any yoga practice, safety should be a priority. Here are some safety tips for practicing Eka Pada Rajakapotasana:

  1. Warm-Up: Always warm up your body before attempting this deep stretch to avoid injury.

  2. Be Mindful of the Knees: If you have knee issues, use caution and support your knee with a cushion or blanket.

Additional Preparation Tips

Let's cover some essential preparation tips to enhance your Eka Pada Rajakapotasana experience:

  • Direction to Face: While performing Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, face the front of your mat. This alignment allows for better balance and stability during the pose.

  • What to Wear: Opt for comfortable, stretchy clothing that allows you to move freely. Consider wearing knee-length leggings to protect your knees during the pose.

  • Suitable Place and Essential Oil or Fragrance: Choose a serene, clutter-free space with good ventilation for your practice. The calming scent of lavender or chamomile essential oil can enhance your experience.

  • Music for this Pose: Play soft, meditative music to create a soothing ambiance for your practice.

Congratulations, yogis! You've journeyed into the realm of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, where grace meets balance, and vulnerability finds strength. As you open your heart and embrace the depth of this pose, remember that you are capable of both gentleness and resilience. Let Eka Pada Rajakapotasana remind you that life is a beautiful dance between stability and surrender. So, spread your wings and allow your heart to soar with the harmony of this enchanting asana. Keep practicing!

Happy yoga-ing, everyone! Namaste! Read More: Decoding Angel Numbers: Messages from the Spiritual Universe If you have found this information valuable, make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletters. Stay updated and never miss out on anything while you continue your journey toward optimal health and holistic living.


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About the Author

Namaste! My name is Pooja Chauhan

I am a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher and a practitioner. Diving deep into the realm of my own heritage to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing my culture with the world.

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