Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose I) registers as 28* on BKS Iyengar’s 60* scale of difficulty in Light on Yoga.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I is one of my favorite and, I believe, one of the most beautiful yoga poses. It took me years to settle into Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I. I was delighted and astonished the first time I pressed the sole of my foot onto my head in this pose.
BKS Iyengar takes Eka Pada Rajakapotasana one step further. Rather than placing the sole of his foot on his head, Iyengar draws his upper lip to his heel. This deepens the already intense backbend and requires an even greater amount of opening in both the chest and the hips.
But, as with so many poses, the depth of Iyengar’s pose doesn’t increase its beauty. Its the spirit of the pose, the energetic brilliance of it, that makes Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I shine – whether you’re using a strap, placing your foot on your head, or placing your lips to your heel. The fullness of heart in Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I takes my breath away. Whether you modify the pose or take it to its ultimate depths, the completeness with which you offer your heart into is what makes the pose beautiful.