How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Pigeon Exercise - dummies

How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Pigeon Exercise

By Sherri Baptiste, Megan Scott

Many people, especially men, are tight in the hip and groin areas, and the yoga-with-weights Pigeon is designed to loosen these areas. The Pigeon stretches and expands your hips and inner-thigh muscles by opening up your entire pelvic girdle. It also stretches and lengthens your spine and exercises your biceps.

You need one hand weight for this exercise. Grab it and follow these steps:

  1. From the kneeling position, slide your left leg back and tuck your right heel under your left frontal hip bone.

    Keep your hips squared, and try not to drag your left hip backward in this pose. You can bend your left leg slightly; it doesn’t have to be straight. Make sure you point your toes.

  2. Slowly lower your elbows to the floor, and rest your trunk on your right thigh.

    Don’t bounce as you drop down — slowly and carefully lower yourself to the floor. Lower yourself as far as you comfortably can if you can’t go all the way.

    If your groin or your quad muscle is too tight to do this exercise, place a blanket or folded-up mat under your right buttock or thigh. If you can’t lean all the way to the floor, lean halfway and support yourself with one arm.

    Draw your belly in and up and your tailbone down for support. If you feel a pain in your knee, it could be because you’re not supporting yourself correctly with the muscles of your belly. This exercise is meant to open up your hips and groin, not stretch your knee.

  3. Grasp the weight in your right hand, keeping your palm face upward.

    This is the starting position.

  4. Exhaling to a count of four, bend your right elbow into a bicep curl.

    Cross your right hand in front of you as you bend your elbow. Focus on your breathing and feel your thigh, hips, and groin stretching.

  5. Inhaling to a count of four, lower the weight to the starting position.

    When you lower the weight, it should land close to your left hand, not below your right shoulder.

Alternating arms and legs, do this exercise six to eight times, pause to rest, and then do another six to eight repetitions, alternating arms and legs.