Pigeon Pose Glute Stretch
Pigeon Pose Glute Stretch hip stretch is a variation of pigeon pose where you keep the front let hip on the floor. A beginners or warm up stretch is to then sink the chest to the floor. A more advanced or deeper stretch is to reach the same side shoulder towards the foot.
In either case you can reach the back leg back. To add weight to the back leg side of the pelvis you can lift your back knee.
Positioning the Front Leg for Pigeon Pose Glute Stretch
Because the front leg hip is on the floor in Pigeon Pose Glute Stretch hip stretch it's relatively easy to position the front shin parallel to the front of your mat (if you are using one.)
Pressing Your Front Knee Down
With your chest close to the floor in this pose (you can rest your elbows on the floor if you like) you can practice pressing your front knee down into the floor in time with your inhales.
Relax as you exhale.
As you press your knee down see if you can feel your outer thigh or hip muscles activating.
Notice them relax when you release the downward pressure of your knee.
Once you are comfortable or having gotten used to his position you can move your chest towards your foot each time you inhale. If your right leg is forwards then use your right hand to push your chest to the left (towards your right foot) each time you inhale.
Return to the "resting" position each time you exhale.
Keep the front leg hip on the floor and press down with your front knee each time you reach towards your foot.
The feeling may be like you are using your knee to help push your ribcage away from it.
Lengthening Your Spine in Pigeon Pose Glute Stretch
An additional action, and perhaps a more important one once you get the knee pressing action is to lengthen your spine each inhale.
Reach your back leg backwards at the same time. Relax both as you exhale.
Adding Weight to Deepen the Glute Stretch
To add weight to Pigeon Pose Glute Stretch pose and to help the back-leg-side of your pelvis sink down, gradually lift your back knee each inhale. Then rest the knee back on the floor each exhale.
Pushing Your Shoulder Towards Your Foot
After repeating the above variation, position your right hand (if the right leg is forwards) close to your right knee with fingers pointing outwards. Straighten your elbow (while keeping the hand in place) so that you push your ribcage to the left.
Try to reach your right shoulder towards your right foot.
Failing that try to get your face over your foot, or easier yet, your left shoulder over your foot. Move slowly and smoothly. Work at continuing to press your knee down (so that the front leg hip stays active) as you push your ribcage to the side.
So that you can use your arm effectively, move the hand further to the right (away from your knee) if you can't straighten your arm at the end of the push. If you are comfortable going deeper into the stretch then position your hand closer to your right knee.
Notice in the picture below how close my hand is to my knee.