Swan pose

Step by step

  • From all fours, slide your right knee forward, more or less behind your right wrist.
  • Pay attention not to stress your right knee: bring it inwards or towards to edge of the mat to avoid any discomfort.
  • Place your ankle somewhere in front of your left hip and flex your foot.
  • Tuck your left toes under and slide your foot towards the back as far as you comfortably can. Make sure that your left leg is in line with the upper body and rest on the top of the foot with the toes tracking backwards.
  • Centre your weight between your hips.
  • Stack your arm bones on top of each other and allow your body weight to sink down
  • You are looking for a stretch in your hips, hip flexors and a mild stimulation of the sacral region.
  • Hold for 1 to 3 minutes.
  • To come out of the pose, tuck your left toes under and slide your back knee forwards.
  • You can move from this position to Down Dog before repeating on the left side. 

Beginners tips

  • Place a folded blanket under the hip of your bent leg, for support.

Benefits

  • Increases hip mobility.
  • Stretches the hip flexors and psoas.
  • Stimulates the Liver, Kidney and Spleen meridians through the front body extension.
  • Stimulates the Gallbladder meridian through hip rotation.

Watch out for

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Ensure you avoid any discomfort in your knees. If discomfort occurs, try Eye of the Needle pose.

Variations

  •  Try the Sleeping Swan version by bringing your elbows down or lying completely over your right leg. In that variation, the pose can be held up to 5 minutes.
  • Lying down, place a bolster lengthwise to support your upper body, or a block to support your head.
  • You can incorporate a gentle twist before coming out of the pose. To do so, slowly push the floor away with your hands if you chose the Sleeping Swan variation, place your left hand more or less in front of your right knee, find length in the spine and gently twist over your right shoulder for a few breaths.

Alternative pose

  • Eye of the Needle

Counter pose