An Easy Guide to Kapotasana, or King Pigeon Pose

Kapotasana, or King Pigeon Pose, is great for posture, as the deep back arch strengthens muscles in the back and stimulates the neck muscles.  


Kapotasana is a strong hip and heart-opener - brilliant if you have the flexibility and the strength in your spine - not for the faint hearted. 

This yoga pose will also give your belly organs a good massage and stretch the thighs and groins.

If you're a beginner start your backbends with something more gentle - like Bridge or Bow.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Kapotasana, or King Pigeon Pose in easy steps

Step 1:

Begin in a kneeling position, knees slightly apart, upper body upright.

Step 2:

Place your palms on the back of your pelvis, pointing towards your mat.

Step 3:

Inhale deeply and bow your head, tucking your chin in.

Step 4:

Lift out of your chest, keeping your hips in place and gradually lean backwards pressing against your hands, scooping your shoulder blades down.

Step 5:

Now gradually release your head and let it tilt back.

Step 6:

On an inhalation, reach your hands toward the floor behind you.

Step 7:

Now push the hips and thighs forward to create forwards stability against the backwards descent of the upper body and head.

Step 8:

Bring your palms to the floor, towards your feet. Exhale and slowly lower your crown to the floor.

Step 9:

Raise your hips and lift the pelvis.

If possible, take hold of your heels with both hands. 

Step 10:

Move your elbows towards each other until they're shoulder width apart. Firmly root them, and your forearms, into the floor. Press your shins into the floor.

Step 11:

Stay in the pose for about 5 breaths to begin with, working up to a few minutes. To come out of the pose, let go of the ankles and lift the torso up on an inhalation. Rest in Child's Pose to counterpose your spine.


King Pigeon Ariadne Vickers

Yoga pose category:  Kneeling

Level: 3

This is a hard yoga pose, and is not recommended for beginners, as the deep back bend requires developed flexibility.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Kapota - pigeon

Asana - pose

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Kapotasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:


Digestive issues 

Lung issues 


Heart issues

Back pain

Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Kapotasana if you have any of the following health conditions: 

High blood pressure

Low blood pressure

Back injury

Neck injury

Knee injury

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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.