Reclined Pigeon pose – also known as Eye of the Needle – is a fantastic post-run and cycling stretch and also a great Pigeon variation that is kinder on the knees than the more traditional version of Pigeon pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana).
As well as particularly targeting the hips, glutes and lower back this is also very helpful for stretching the IT band (illiotibial band), therefore improving your performance.
I found this pose and Legs Up The Wall especially helpful after running the Brighton Half Marathon in February this year. I had no soreness the next day. (NB – Click here for a Legs Up The Wall video where I show you how to get into the pose).
That said, even if you don’t run or cycle this pose can be of help if you spend a lot of time sitting – I imagine that includes most of us!
Reclined Pigeon can also be good for easing sciatic pain. Speaking from my own experience of sciatic pain due to having spondylolisthesis I have found this pose to be incredibly beneficial.
Aim to hold this stretch for at least 5 breaths but ideally longer. Work up to holding this stretch for 3-5 minutes on each side.
(Thanks to Urban Lucy for the comfy Beyond Yoga outfit I’m wearing in this video!)