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The benefits of doing yoga outdoors (with a scenic tutorial from a Nike master trainer)


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We love a good and sweaty hot yoga class in studio with a gorgeous aesthetic, but there’s something to be said for taking your practice to the great outdoors.

That’s why Nike Master Trainer Krissy Jones takes advantage of every opportunity to strike a pose outside—even though she’s the co-founder Sky Ting Yoga‘s two gorgeous studios.

“Yoga is traditionally designed to be practiced in nature,” Jones says. “I love practicing outdoors or anywhere I can to shake things up! You don’t have to do an hour class to feel the effects of yoga, you can do one pose or exercise and feel different. It’s nice to do sun salutations facing the sun, and pranayama exercises on the beach, or practice inversions against a tree (or building if you’re in NYC)!”

how to do king pigeon yoga pose

We took Jones’ own advice and took to the streets of New York City to test out the yoga-readiness of the Nike Bra Collection and see how well it held up in the bendiest asanas.

In front of a panoramic view of the city skyline, Jones tackled king pigeon pose—or rajakapotasana—a move that requires mega flexibility. “I love a sports bra that is supportive yet flexible, with a thinner strap,” Jones says of her preferred workout garb.

Scroll for the five-step GIF guide to getting into pigeon pose yourself.

Get Started
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how to do king pigeon pose

Step 1: Start in downward dog

King pigeon activates the hip and back muscles, so warm up your hips by holding downward dog for about 30 seconds.

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how to do king pigeon pose

Step 2: Move to down dog split for the transition

Raise your right leg up for downward dog split. Then, bend that leg and bring it in front of you to transition into pigeon. Your right shin should be parallel (or as close to parallel as your flexibility allows) to the front of the mat, and your hands should remain planted in front of you, palms-down on the mat.

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how to do king pigeon pose

Step 3: Raise your back leg

Once you’re settled into pigeon pose, come up onto your fingertips and bend your back knee. Reach back with your left hand and grab your left foot. This is where the bendiness comes in: “King pigeon is a deep backbend,” Jones says. “Great for flexibility and mobility of the spine.”

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how to do king pigeon pose

Step 4: Reach back

Continue to draw the foot up toward your head as your left elbow spins towards the ceiling. Lock your hands together to really maximize the stretch.

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how to do king pigeon pose

Step 5: Stretch it out

Then, grab your foot with both hands, and point both elbows up to the sky. Draw your head back to the arch of your left foot. Repeat on second side to really soak up the confidence-boosting vibes. “Backbends are great for feeling confident,” Jones says. “Hip openers are good to release stored tension.”

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how to do king pigeon pose

Step 6: The finished product

Here’s how it looks all put together! To shop Jones’ full look (yoga-proof bras included), keep scrolling.

Ready to unlock a better you? Discover the power of yoga anytime, anywhere by downloading the Nike+ Training Club app now.

In partnership with Nike

Photos: Tim Gibson for Well+Good