eka pada raja kapotasana
asana tips and trivia: eka para raja kapotasana (light version)
eka = one, pada = foot, raja = king, kapota = pigeon
Mermaid pose, depicted in this photo, is a prep pose for one footed king pigeon pose, which looks similar but requires a deeper backbend, both arms reaching over the head to grab the foot. Mermaid is a fun, deep hip opener as well as a slightly milder backbend. Do some warm up backbends and stretching of the thighs, psoas and front shoulders before working your way into Pigeon.
Once in regular pigeon, reach back and add on a quad stretch by grabbing the foot behind you. With time you´ll be able to wedge the toes into the elbow crease, holding the arm in place by flexing the toes. Then tighten your core and thigh muscles, lifting yourself slightly up and in towards the midline for stabilisation. Once in balance, reach the front arm over head to find the other hand and bind. To deepen the stretch and make the posture more parallell, see if you can slowly turn the gaze and torso more to the front.