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.
In this short video filmed at evolve, I show you how to get into Reclined Pigeon.
(Thanks to Urban Lucy for the comfy Beyond Yoga outfit I’m wearing in this video!)
Legs Up The Wall (or Viparita Karani) is one of my favourite Restorative Yoga poses because it has multiple benefits including easing tired legs, reducing stress (helps boost your mood!), fatigue, insomnia and more!
In this short video, filmed recently at evolve, I show you how to do it, including a cheeky way to get into the pose if you have tight hamstrings (for you runners and cyclists out there – this pose is great for your weary legs!). I thank the wonderful Judith Hanson Lasater (who I studied Restorative Yoga with) for showing me this alternative way in to the pose.
Want to experience more Restorative poses like this? Join me for Relax & Restore Restorative Yoga classes on Fridays at Embody Wellness 6.45-7.45pm.