Having tight hips can lead to low back pain. Fortunately, pigeon pose is one way to help loosen the hips. This can be an intense stretch for people who have really tight hips. Remember when doing these stretches that they should never hurt. If you try the pose and it’s too uncomfortable, stop immediately.

To do pigeon pose, start in a standing position with your feet hip width apart and legs straight but with a slight bend in the knee. Sweep your arms up overhead, then fold forward, relaxing your head and neck as you let your arms dangle or touch the floor. Bend your knees deeply until you can place both hands on the floor.

Put weight into your hands as you step your left leg straight back. Bring your right foot forward and behind your left hand, slowly lowering down so your right shin is resting on the floor, perpendicular to your body. Move your hands to the floor outside of either hip for better balance and stability.

You will likely feel a deep stretch in your right hip.

If your right buttock doesn’t touch the floor and/or the stretch is too intense, you can place a blanket, towel or block under your hip for more support.

You can stay in this position with your upper body upright, or you can lean forward over your right leg, keeping your spine long.

Breathe deeply in this position for 10 full breaths.

To come out of the pose, bring your upper body back upright, place both hands in front of you and use your arm strength to lift your hips off the ground so you can bring your legs back underneath you. Bend your knees deeply as you straighten up to standing.

Switch sides and repeat.

pigeon pose