Okay tribe, we made it, week five of practicing arm balances, exploring new paths, leaning into the unknown, and cultivating all the courage we need. In this week’s arm balance video we’re diving head first (literally) into….
Flying Pigeon Pose
Or in proper yogic terms, eka pada galavasana
I dig this arm balance for a few reasons, but mostly because I feel that it can be accessible to many of us, given that extra love tap to get flying. Here’s the reasons:
- it mimics familiar poses, think figure four, traditional pigeon pose and crow pose
- it’s fairly accessible to find the necessary bind
- the stacking sensation is straightforward, no cray cray transitions (like eight angle or grasshopper pose)
- the full variation offers yogis a path to advance
If you’re convinced and ready to get flowing, hit that play button and let’s go. But if you need a bit more information, like a how-to tutorial, then keep scrolling, your wish is my command.
Flying Pigeon Pose How-To:
Prefer a video tutorial, click here to find it.
1. Begin in Figure Four
Aaaaah yes, we get to start in a simple, classic standing posture (aka not attempting to hold our body weight up via our hands yet).
The shape we create here in standing figure four is the starting point to our final destination, flying pigeon. It almost mimics the shape we’ll eventually be in, so get comfortable here, find that strong foundation, and embrace that hip opening sensation.
2. Hands Down + Bind
Once you find a comfortable (ish) standing figure four posture, it’s time to bring your hands down to the ground, feel the strength that’s eagerly awaiting you and create the necessary bind. The bind being that the lifted foot wraps around the upper arm and once bound, you hold it there tight.
I like to bring my attention to the toes here, they’re the secret sauce in this mix. By vigorously wrapping the toes around your upper arm, you can create a tight grip (as if you’re holding onto your phone for dear life, needing that one last social media scroll), making your flying pigeon pose stable, connected and ready to fly.
….. am I the only one who has a phone problem here.
Also important to note, you’ll need to drop your hips down low and bend into the elbows to secure the bind, which then easily transitions into our next step.
3. Hinge Forward + Lift Off
And three, two, one lift off…… we are officially venturing into what you came here for, flying pigeon pose.
Much like the arm balances we’ve covered thus far, we now need to rely on our strength + courage to lean into the posture and rise up. Once the bind is set, we begin to hinge our shoulders way past the wrists (hello trust), deeply activate our core creating that rounded back shape, and continue hinging till our planted foot begins to lift off the ground.
Feel free to tip back and forth here, teetering and tottering, playing with the mechanics of the pose.
And if you find that moment of clarity, the coveted hang time, then stick with it, breathe, don’t freak, and enjoy the pose!
5. Straighten the Leg
Lastly on the flying pigeon journey, it’s time to straighten the leg and experience the full variation.
Once you’ve found the lift off and can sustain the shape, begin to straighten the hanging leg behind you. At first, it will feel as if your leg is a hundred pounds, like how the hell do you lift this thing, it’s so dang heavy. But in time and with familiarity, you’ll begin to lift the leg back and high, tapping into your hamstring + glute strength to get ya there!
Now with all of that said, it’s time to get on our yoga mats, tap into the courage + strength we inherently have, and start to fly.
Let’s do this yogis, let’s tap into our flying pigeon pose!