Pigeon Pose

Pigeon pose is a key hip opener for athletes that stretches the hip flexors, piriformis and glutes and can help to alleviate lower back pain. If this pose isn’t accessible to you, you can get a similar stretch in the outsides of your hips in Dead Pigeon or Standing Pigeon.


  • Stretches the hip flexors, glutes, piriformis and external hip rotators.
  • Can help to alleviate lower back pain.



  • Intermediate


  • Set-Up

    Come into Downward Dog.

  • Action

    Step your big toes together. Inhale, sweep your left leg up to the sky. Exhale, bring your left knee forward, place it on the mat behind your left wrist and position your left foot underneath your right hip. Release your back foot and slide it back.

  • Refinements

    Look behind you to check that your right leg and foot are straight. If your hips are not level, you can support the hip of your bent leg on a block or bolster.

  • Next Level

    Inhale, press into your fingertips to lengthen your spine. Exhale, walk your hands forward and come down onto your forearms.

  • Duration

    Stay in the pose for 2-5 minutes.

  • To Release

    Bring your hands to the mat, tuck your back toes, lift your hips up and step back to  Downward Dog for the other side.


  • Pigeon is inaccessible to some athletes—due to injury or tightness in the hips. In which case, Dead Pigeon is a great alternative.

ADVANCED VARIATION: Sleeping Pigeon Pose

  • If you’d like to go deeper, cross your arms and rest your forehead on the mat.


  • Avoid Pigeon pose if you have a knee, hip or foot injury.


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