7 Incredible Health Benefits of Half Pigeon Pose Yoga (Ardha Kapotasana)

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By Rishikul Yogshala

September 2, 2019

Derived from the Sanskrit word, Ardha Kapotasana means Ardha- Half, Kapota- Pigeon, and Asana-Posture. The name of the asana got its inspiration from one of the greatest yogic masters, Kapota and is designed in a way to enhance the flexibility of the back and hips.

The posture is an easy intermediate level pose that involves stretching of the chest upward resembling a pigeon puffing up its chest. The sequence involves muscles of the lower back, chest, hips, knees, pelvis, psoas, and quadriceps, and is commonly practiced during Iyengar Yoga Sequence.

Providing deeper health advancements to the body, the pose is easy to perform. So, here we are mentioning seven incredible benefits of Ardha Kapotasana and the steps for its practice.

7 Incredible Benefits of Half Pigeon Pose

  1. Stimulates Nervous System
    When you perform the pose, the spine moves backward getting a slight bend from the base to the neck and head. This improves the pranic flow in the region, opening all the blockages with the muscle stretching and helps to stimulate the nervous system. The pose helps with the stiffness of back muscles and relieves the lower back pain.
  2. Improves Circulation in the Reproductive System
    The pose stimulates the abdominal organ and improves the pranic flow in the spine, giving room for better blood flow in the reproductive system. The energy stimulates the organs and enhances the function of the reproductive organs. This increase fertility, helps with conceiving and eases the menstrual discomfort.
  3. Provides Deep Stretch to the Lower Body
    While performing the pose, you stretch your leg behind you while the body is balancing itself on the other hip. Holding the leg stretch puts pressure and tightens the muscles, thus, giving a deep opening to the entire lower body, especially the hips and groin. 
  4. A Great Chest Opener
    The pose works as a great chest opener improving breathing, the gentle stretch while moving the chest up do the wonders. This helps to improve the breathing at the upper diaphragm and also open the muscles of the chest.
  5. Enhances Flexibility and Organ Functioning
    The pose is simple yet loaded with benefits, the gentle stretching of the spine during a backbend improves its agility slowly. The pose improves the flexibility of the legs and enhances the balance.
  6. Activates the Endocrine System
    With the deep stretch, the endocrine system gets stimulated that includes the pituitary gland, adrenal gland, pineal gland, pancreas, and thyroid gland. The activation of the system impacts mood control, growth and development and regulates the production of hormones. The deep stretch also stimulates the head, neck, chest, and abdomen. 
  7. Benefits Piriformis Muscle
    The pose is highly beneficial for the Piriformis Muscle, and while the pose is performed, the entire muscles are stretched to the maximum, but slowly. The muscles are situated beneath of the gluteal muscles also referred to as buttocks and the slow stretching plays a great role in building the flexibility of the hips.

How to Practice Ardha Kapotasana?

  • Sit on the mat in a kneeling position or Vajrasana.
  • Now bend forward, placing your hands on the mat with palms touch the ground.
  • Ensure that the hands are placed about 2 feet apart or as the shoulder length.
  • Now raise yourself like you do during Marjariasana.
  • Now spread the knees out, ensuring the shoulder-length gap between the two knees.
  • Move the right foot forward and bend it slightly sideways toward the right.
  • Your right foot is placed near the pelvic region.
  • Now stretch the left leg backward and straighten the knee.
  • Place your hands on the mat next to the hips, and then raise your head and chest.
  • Fix your gaze forward, breath slowly and deeply, and stay in the pose for 30-60 seconds.
  • Release the pose and repeat the same steps on the other side.

Precautions to take:

  • People with knee or hip injury should avoid the pose. While practicing, go slowly and do it under expert guidance.
  • Take support cushion for extensive comfort.
  • Avoid if you have recent hip surgery or muscle tea around the area.

Half Pigeon Pose or Ardha Kapotasana is an amazing asana to practice accompanied with its advanced variations and modifications to feel good and stay healthy.

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