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Level 2/3
90 min

Backbends to Pigeon

Hatha | By Noah Mazé on Sep 09 2012
Bring your full hearted effort into this strong class of backbends to Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana). Warm up with standing pose work, handstand and forearm balance work, twists and thigh stretches to open your back and hip flexors and LAUNCH into progressive sequencing of full hearted backbends.


Bring your full hearted effort into this strong class of backbends to Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana). Warm up with standing pose work, handstand and forearm balance work, twists and thigh stretches to open your back and hip flexors and LAUNCH into progressive sequencing of full hearted backbends.


  • Susan Grossman     Dec 18th, 2014
    Amazing as always Noah! The first time I've been able to touch both toes yay! Wasn't quite sure I was going to make it all the way through class but am so glad I persevered! Thank you so much!
  • Laura Hand     Nov 6th, 2014
    I just discovered this class and it was the first time I've been able to experience deep backbending without pain in my lumbar spine. I am so deeply grateful for your precise instruction and your humor. Many thanks.
    • Noah Maze     Nov 7th, 2014
      You are so very welcome Laura! I am so pleased that you were able to experience these backbends without pain. And, thanks for laughing at my jokes. xo
  • bohyun k     May 11th, 2014
    Ustrasana against the wall was super effective to get the thighs strong. The fact that poses that led to kapotasana were so challenging that kapotasana itself felt less intimidating was a plus. :) I can't stand up from urdva without lifting my heels though. Do you have any good tips for that? Thank you for the wonderful class!
    • Noah Maze     May 12th, 2014
      I'm glad the hard work in the poses leading up to Kapotasana made the pose less intimidating! In order to keep your heels down, you have to shift more of your weight into your feet and engage the muscles of your legs like crazy. It should feel like a thigh burner! Thanks for taking class Bohyun. Namaste~
  • Sheila Gill     Mar 10th, 2014
    OMG. That was pretty crazy awesome, Noah! Thank you again for the incredible precision and fire in your teaching.
    Hope I'm not looking for an "out" here with this question: How do you think proportions fit into this pose? I have very long legs (am very tall) but a relatively short torso. I'm fairly flexible in the spine, but need more strength in legs/glutes, for sure. It seems I'm miles away from my feet, and this seems insurmountable! Thoughts? Any suggestions, besides do this class 30 more times? :)
    • Noah Maze     Apr 25th, 2014
      Hi Sheila, I'm so glad you liked this one! & thanks for taking class. I think proportions matter quite a bit. In order to turn your leg length into your asset, do more thigh stretches; get more opening in your quads and psoas group to compensate for your shorter torso length. More shoulder openers too! The opening needs to be shared in as many moving parts as possible. Keep me posted on your progress!
  • Alandi Stec     Jan 3rd, 2014
    although this wasn't the primary asana of class by any means, i really enjoyed the set up for Utkatasana with the arms parallel to the ground --> lifting the rib cage of the thighs -->pulling the head of the arm bones farther back --> then rising the torso vertical over the legs. that was a deeper experience of getting at that asana then i had experienced in a while! awesome!
    • Noah Maze     Apr 21st, 2014
      The classic form of Utkatasana is definitely INTENSE! Glad you enjoyed the intensity Alandi! - :)
  • Aria Mayland     Nov 2nd, 2013
    I've gotta say this class is one of my favorites, Noah. Love it! Thank you!
    • Noah Maze     Apr 21st, 2014
      You're welcome Aria! Thanks for taking class.
  • Jill Jackson     Oct 2nd, 2013
    • Noah Maze     Apr 21st, 2014
      Yay!!! I love your enthusiasam Jill!
  • Huda Mussa     Sep 28th, 2013
    I felt so good and uplifted after doing this class. Your classes are classics on yogaglo, and they are among the few ones that I keep on doing over and over again.
    • Noah Maze     Apr 21st, 2014
      Classics - wow, that is high praise! Thanks for your kind comment and thanks for practicing Huda! Namaste~
  • Gabriel Martinez     Jul 31st, 2013
    launched!!! thanx a lot. namaste noah
    • Noah Maze     Aug 12th, 2013
  • Ana de los Rios     Jun 26th, 2013
    Dear Noah. I actually did go much further than the last time I did this class,. I ve been practicing back bends, specially. So this time I understood your useful and accurate instructions better (and was more able to put them into practice,). This path is infinite!
    Thank you for being such a good teacher. Love from Mexico. Ana

    • Noah Maze     Aug 12th, 2013
      Thanks for taking class Ana do los Rios! I'm so glad you did it again, and got further; that is a great strategy, as these are difficult poses and require some dedicated practice. Love to you, and I hope our paths cross soon, Noah
  • Rafael Kr     May 19th, 2013
    Uau. Very advanded, strong and great!
    • Rafael Kr     May 19th, 2013
      • Noah Maze     May 27th, 2013
        Thanks for taking class Rafael :)
  • Emma Spencer Goodier     Apr 10th, 2013
    Hey Noah - that class rocked. I haven't been that disciplined with my backward bends in sooooo long. Thank you - huge gratitude and heart wide open now. xx
    • Noah Maze     Apr 10th, 2013
      Ah, thanks Emma. I am always happy to kick-start practice up a notch or two. Thanks for hearing the 'call to the yoke' (Mahabharata reference)!
  • Katherine Wilder     Apr 10th, 2013
    Thanks Noah for a great sequence and clear instruction! Namaste'
    • Noah Maze     Apr 10th, 2013
      Thanks for taking class Katherine, Namaste~
  • Michelle Marchildon     Apr 3rd, 2013
    Amazing Noah. I wish you hadn't cancelled your Colorado appearance. I am waiting for you here, but as soon as my kids become more self-sufficient, I will travel to you. Thanks for taking me out of my zip code on Yoga Glo.
    • Noah Maze     Apr 4th, 2013
      Michelle, I know, I was bummed too. It just did not come together for me to teach in CO this weekend. See you on the Glo, and in person when householder dharma allows. Love to you, Noah
  • Charlotte Grubb     Mar 26th, 2013
    another incredible class- THANK YOU! so glad i was able to take one in person in LA a couple months ago. my hands are just grazing my feet in kapotasana- not far to go! will definitely be coming back to this class :)
    • Noah Maze     Mar 26th, 2013
      Thanks Charlotte! Grazing is great! From there it is the toes, then the arches, then the heels, then the ankles... Hope you come back to LA soon!
      • Michelle Marchildon     Apr 15th, 2013
        OMG. I Love that. I am grazing too!!!!!
        • Noah Maze     Apr 16th, 2013
          Yay! And THANK YOU FOR YOUR BOOK, I just opened it up yesterday. Brilliant!!
  • Tiffany House     Mar 25th, 2013
    first proper back bend class, I almost died! Putting this in one of my faves. thank you noah!
    • Noah Maze     Mar 25th, 2013
      Awesome, thanks Tiffany. Welcome to backbending class!
  • Mary Gewarges     Mar 1st, 2013
    That was amazing and effective... some of my best and most ease-full backbending ever. Thank you! Great sequencing.
    • Noah Maze     Mar 25th, 2013
      Mary, I'm so glad this created ease in your backbends. Thanks for taking class, Namaste~
  • Sara Strother     Jan 16th, 2013
    Sitting on a block in supta virasana blew my frickin mind. I'm still blown. THANK YOU. xo
    • Noah Maze     Mar 25th, 2013
      I know! It magnifies the psoas stretch! Love it! xo
  • Priya Das     Jan 6th, 2013
    Great class!!!!i was working many time this class and today i reach my whole feet with both hands!!!amazing thank you very much Noah!!!
    • Noah Maze     Mar 25th, 2013
      AWEsome Priya! That is a milestone breakthrough, well done!
  • DOMINIQUE ROMO     Dec 12th, 2012
    very challenge & fun class, thank you Noah!
    • Noah Maze     Mar 25th, 2013
      You are very welcome, thanks for taking class Dominique
  • Becka Janse     Nov 30th, 2012
    Fun, challenging class! Added to my favorites, thanks for the great kapotasana strategies.
  • Mindy Menard     Oct 16th, 2012
    I'm all tingly! What a wonderful heart opening practice! Thank you Noah.
  • Alandi Stec     Sep 30th, 2012
    thank you noah! i can honestly say, i've never enjoyed backbending as much as i did in this class :) my heart feels opened and full!
  • Mara Dew     Sep 21st, 2012
    Deepest I have ever got in Kapo... I think it was the "don't panic" que that I was missing!
  • Arielle Bertolone     Sep 18th, 2012
    As a non bendy in my spine person I appreciated the progression. Woah is right, definitely one I will keep coming back to.
  • Jim Lewis     Sep 16th, 2012
    Awesome. Excellent progression.
  • Tasja Fox     Sep 15th, 2012
    LOVED this class
  • Alanna Smith     Sep 15th, 2012
    WOAH! That was amazing!!!!! one of my all time favourites :) :) :)
  • Lisa Koester     Sep 14th, 2012
    Just wow. Wild thing, I think I love you!
  • Lisa Koester     Sep 14th, 2012
    Just wow. Wild thing, I think I love you!
  • Yael Matsliah     Sep 13th, 2012
    Wow, now that I've crawled off my yoga mat and to the computer, I can post a comment:) -- that was challenging to say the least. But I've saved it to my favorites and will hopefully have the courage to face this ganesha on a regular basis.
  • Mary-Kate Murray     Sep 11th, 2012
    Thank you Noah. I usually feel soooo far away from kapotasana, and today less so. I always enjoy your excellent authentic instruction. Maybe I will see you and Darren in NJ in Nov! Love to your tribe!
  • Jeanette Darbyshire     Sep 11th, 2012
    Excellent, fun and challenging. Thank you again.
  • Silvia Hayakawa     Sep 10th, 2012
    Wow! Sooooo helpful! Thank you for all the wonderful, helpful stages!!!! :D
  • irene carbo     Sep 10th, 2012
    OMG!!!!!!! I thought I would die there because of my heart pounding so fast. It really help my shoulders opening. Challenging class, worked all my body from head to toe. Thanks super Noah...
  • Pele      Sep 9th, 2012
    Definitely not for those with knee issues.
  • Huda Mussa     Sep 9th, 2012
    Vintage Noah. Increased the range of my chest opening. The only thing I am trying to grapple with is how to scoop the tailbone without hardening my buttock muscles.
  • Patti MacPherson     Sep 9th, 2012
    outstanding class as always, thank you! can't wait for your workshop in Kansas this month!