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How to Do Pigeon Pose: Master This Stretch for Tight Hips

Do It Better: Pigeon Pose 0:31

Pigeon pose is amazing for runners, cyclists or anyone with tight hips, but many people simply don't understand proper alignment and find all kinds of ways to compromise their knees.

Simple padding with a yoga block, pillow or rolled up towel and a few placement tweaks of the knees and ankles can make this pose the restorative wonder it is supposed to be, rather than something to be dreaded and endured with clenched teeth and a tight jaw.

Here's how to do it better:

  • Begin in Downward Facing Dog.
  • Bring right shin forward, as close to parallel to the front edge of the mat as it can get, with right knee toward right wrist and right ankle toward left wrist.
  • With back leg extended long behind you and toes tucked, lower hips to the ground, then untuck toes.
  • Slide a yoga block, pillow or rolled up towel under your right hip for support.
  • Check the alignment of your shin — you may want to inch your ankle forward.
  • Reach torso forward and down, and either reach your arms long and in front of you, or take your hands together as a pillow for your forehead, with your elbows winging out to either side.
  • Relax your back to fully engage in the pose.

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