Rajakapotasana - The King Pigeon
Kapota कपोत: Pigeon, dove | spotty-necked pigeon, grey colour of a pigeon | grey ore of antimony | particular position of the hands | cornice, frieze.
|This position is called either pigeon or dove. The devananda name could be "king pigeon" or "king dove". It is unsure if this refers to a specific bird. The translated terms pigeon or dove are apparently used interchangeably without real justification. It is possible that it refers to the fantail pigeon.|
Rajakapotasana is a powerful posture drawing on the pigeon archetype and involved with anahata chakra (heart center). It is described as being able to purify the feelings and bring forth lightness, purity, the feeling of universal love and inner peace.
The starting point is in Vajrasana, eyelids open and eyes fixing a real or virtual point. This point is an anchor throughout the practice. During an exhalation, extend the right leg backward to enter the first phase.
When the right leg is extended fully, the left and right hands comes on the left knee with the right hand on top of the left one. The hands are not used as a support, or minimally. At fist, the back is straightened up and the heart is in front.
In this position, the breathing follows Visamavritti, preferably with a sequence of 4/16/8/0. The focus is on the breathing and on the relaxation of all muscles unnecessary to the position. This is done for two or three minutes.
During an exhalation, bring the hands to the hips, elbows drawn backward. Remain in this position for another two to three minutes. The breathing remains the same. Intensify mula bandha during the full retention.
During an inhalation, extend the arms forward and stay in this position during the full retention. Intensify mula and the inner focus. On the following exhalation, adopt the position as described below.
The arms have been brought backward, slightly raised. This position is held for two to three minutes. All energy works are the same. The gaze remains stable on the point.
During an exhalation, adopt the final position which consists in raising the leg of the lower limb extended backward and holding the heel of that leg with both hands. It is feasible to hold the ground with one hand while grabbing the heel with the other hand in the beginning.
In this position, the breathing continues as prepared in the previous intermediary steps. The leg pulls the body backward and imposes a maximal stretch on the spine. This final position is held according to individual strength.
During an exhalation, release carefully the position and come back to the original one. Wait until the body comes back to normal, even lying down on the back if necessary, then inverse the position.