Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

One Legged King Pigeon

Meaning: The name Eka Pada Rajakapotasana is derived from the Sanskrit roots:

eka – one,

pada – foot, 

raja – king, 

kapota – pigeon,

asana – pose.

Yoga types: Hatha yoga.

Level: Advanced.

Strengthens: Back, the core and pelvic floor.

Stretches: Stretches the thighs, groins, shoulders, hip flexors, spine and opens the hips and chest.

Contraindications: Knee, spinal, or lower back injuries. Dislocated shoulder.

Variations: Lakini Pose, Half Pigeon Pose

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Mythology

On a symbolic level, Pigeon in Hindu Mythology has been associated with Ratithe goddess of lust and passion. The Hindu scriptures stress Rati’s beauty and sensuality.  Eka Pada RajKapotasana hence is connected to the activation of the Second ChakraManipura, responsible for controlling sexual desire and increasing fertility.*

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Benefits Of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

The main physical benefits of One Legged King Pigeon:

  • Stimulates the internal organs
  • Helps with the urinary disorder
  • Increases hip flexibility
  • Brings fresh blood to the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands
  • Lessens or alleviates sciatic pain
  • Rejuvenates the spine

On a spiritual and emotional level this pose:

  •  Opens the hips and releases negative feelings and undesirable energy stored in your body.

How To Do Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

One Legged King Pigeon is a deep backbend asana that puffs the chest, making a yogi resemble a pigeon. This pose has a reputation for being a very intense posture, so it’s important to prepare your body for Pigeon Pose.


Stretch your hip flexors, external rotators, spine, and shoulders. Include several lunges to open the quadriceps and hip flexors. Also, Cobra, Bow, and Upward Bow. Include shoulder openers such as Gomukhasana and Dolphin.

  1. Begin in Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale, lift your right leg to the sky.
  2. Exhale, bend your right knee, and sweep your right leg forward. Plant your right knee directly behind your right hand.
  3. Lower your left knee to the floor and slide your left leg back. Come onto your fingertips and walk your hands back until they’re next to your hips. Lengthen your spine.
  4. Bend your left knee so the toes are pointing toward the sky.
  5. Inhale, lift your right arm to the sky. Then exhale, bend the elbow, and grasp the left big toe from above. Keep your elbow pointing up. Find your balance here.
  6. Inhale and reach your left arm toward the sky. Then exhale, bend the elbow, and grasp the foot. Move your right hand, grip from your big toe to the side of your foot.
  7. Breath and hold the pose.
  8. Release your left arm, then your right. Lower your left leg to the mat and step back to Downward-Facing Dog.
  9. Repeat the pose on the opposite side.

Beginner’s Tip

At first many people who learn this pose aren’t able to easily grasp the back foot directly with their hands.

Try this pose with a strap. Take a strap with a buckle. Slip a small loop over the back foot. Make sure the buckle is against the sole of the foot. Perform the leg position, and lay the strap on the floor along side the left leg. Bend the left knee and grasp the strap with the left hand. Hold the strap in both hands, and walk your hands down the strap toward the foot.

Things to know

REMEMBER: there is no real reason for your foot to touch your head. It doesn’t make this pose better. Some people don’t actually feel awesome for their neck and lower back when their foot meet their head. Let go of the idea that doing the full pose means resting your head in the arch of your foot. This pose is just as awesome if foot and head keep a healthy distance.

One Legged King Pigeon


Pigeon Pose – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – http://www.marthyfit.com/2017/09/09/ponte-2-2-8-3/

Sequence to one-legged king pigeon pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – https://www.baretoesyoga.com/2019/06/sequence-to-one-legged-king-pigeon-pose.html

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