Congratulations! You have been practicing yoga regularly and your body is ready for some new challenges!

Hopefully you have started to reap the benefits of your regular yoga practice both on and off the mat.  A sense of contentment and peace in stressful situations, more joy in everyday life, breath work to bring calm after a hectic day can be just a few of the lessons we take from the mat to our daily life.

Along the way we may have also learnt that yoga is a practice in patience. As our bodies become more proficient at our physical practice we may be tempted to embark on poses that physically challenge us whether we are ready for them or not. To safely begin to introduce more advanced variations of poses it is important that we don’t skip the small steps along the way. Progression is the key to success.

Below is an example of how we can prepare ourselves for a more advanced yoga pose, Eka Pada Galvasana (Flying Pigeon).

Recommended progression poses: 

Chaturanga Dandasana (low pushup)-will strengthen triceps and shoulders as well as develop core stability.

Bakasana (Crow pose)-will open the hips, stretch the upper back and increase confidence in arm balances.

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Standing Balancing Pigeon Pose)-will stretch our hips and buttocks and enhances balance.

Once you are comfortably practicing the progression poses it may be time to put all of the elements together into Flying Pigeon Pose.

From standing pigeon pose to flying pigeon pose

  • Begin standing in Mountain Pose and shift weight into one foot, crossing the other flexed foot over the thigh of the standing leg into a figure four position
  • Bend at the hips slightly and soften the knee of supporting leg
  • Keep spine long, bring hands to heart center for Standing Pigeon Pose
  • To move into Flying Pigeon, forward fold and bring palms to floor, shoulder width apart, resting shin of bent leg on elbows, flexing toes of bent foot hooking them around the triceps
  • Engage core, spread out back and begin to turn this pose into an arm balance by bringing weight forward into palms and out of supporting leg
  • Bring chest forward so hips can lift higher, squeeze the butt and begin to extend the long leg to the sky

As you begin to play with this pose, celebrate the small steps! If we listen to our bodies and are patient with our poses, we can enjoy a safe yoga practice for a lifetime.