One Legged Pigeon Pose
- From Downward Facing Dog, lift your right leg up to the ceiling and then swing your right leg forward, pointing the right knee to the right corner of your mat. Or from a seated position point your right knee toward the right front corner of your mat.
- Bring your right foot forward toward the front wall as far as your hips will allow. Eventually the foot will parallel with the knee (if you are very flexible bring your foot past parallel).
- Square your hips to the front wall and extend your back (left) leg straight behind you.
- Drop your elbows and head on the floor in front of you.
- Close your eyes and center your gaze at the third eye (a spot between your eyebrows).
- Focus on the Ujjayi breath, long inhales and exhales. Breathe deep into the right side hip and buttocks muscles. Stay in this pose and continue to breathe deep into any blockages.
- Hold this pose for three minutes then change sides.
By closing the eyes and keeping the gaze (Dristti) on the Third Eye, we enter into what is known as Pratyahara . It’s the fifth limb of Patanjali’s Eight-limb Path. This allows us to withdraw from the five senses and enter into the sixth sense of our inner world. Most of us are aware of the stress and tension we hold in our shoulders. We might also harbor emotional stress in our hip joints.
So as you breathe deeply in Ujjaiyi, open yourself up to whatever comes into your thoughts. What physical tension may be stopping you from advancing in a posture?
Observe any traumatic experience locked in your body that may be holding you back from advancing in your life. Now we combine the physical (Hatha) with the mental (Raja) aspects of Yoga, thus awakening the spiritual energy.