Flying Pigeon Pose is very much one of those arm balances that you look at and go - WOW! Secondly you think - how am I ever going to be able to do that one? Yep, that's how I felt about it but it has become one of my very favourite arm balances and one which I love to teach in a class as you can work it in and out of sequences in ways that build strength, grace and balance.
I also really like that as a pose there are several different variations of it which means that it suddenly becomes very accessible to students. It is a big hip opening pose so you can always start with regular single pigeon pose and work from there. If you think about it you are basically doing the same thing as a single pigeon pose it is just that you are flying in the air!
How to do Flying Pigeon Pose
- Begin standing at the top of your mat and cross the right ankle over the left thigh. This is standing pigeon pose - feel free to stay here for a few breaths.
- Come into a forward fold, hands meet the floor and keep the legs.
- Place your palms down shoulder width apart, spread your fingers wide and keep the creases of your wrist in line with the top of your yoga mat.
- Shift your weight forward until you can get the right knee high on top of the back of the right arm (the higher the better but this depends on how open your hips are).
- Hook the top of the right foot around the upper left arm and clamp there it tightly—this action is what keeps the pose together after take off!
- Bring all of your weight into the hands until you feel the left foot becoming lighter. This may be a great place to just hang out. You want to be comfortable here - baby flying pigeon is a great place to stay!
- Once you are balancing on your hands, extend the left leg up and back behind you, trying to not open up through the hips here but keeping everything squared with the shoulders - triceps hug in and press down through the thumb and the index finger.
- Slowly come out and take it to the other side.
Remember that you need to be fully warmed up before attempting this pose, especially in the hips. If it's not working for you today come back to working on your hip openers.
PS - There are four spaces left for my Autumn Yoga Retreat in Devon - don't miss it!