Eka Pada Rajakopotasana (Pigeon Pose) is one of the first hip opening poses that we fall in love with in yoga class. Depending on what expression of the pose you choice to take, Pigeon is a great hip opener, a key pose for moving into back bends or a pose that you can use to find some space after a deep back bend.
Come to down dog and lift your right leg
Bring your right knee into your chest and place your right knee behind your right wrist.
The right foot will kick out towards the left and depending on your hip flexibility your foot can eventually come towards your left wrist and parallel to the front of your mat.
Variation 1: Fold forward extending your arms out in front of you (if you feel any strain in your front knee then back out either rolling towards your right side or adding support under your whole right thigh.
Variation 2: Bend back knee lifting foot to take a hold of right ankle or foot with your hand eventually lifting the left arm into the air as well. This back bend can build to the full pose which is holding back foot with both hands.
This asana is something we build into steadily finding the right balance of effort and surrender. You will be surprised how healing opening your hips can be for you as it emotionally allows you to soften and connect within.