Agnistambhasana: Firelog Pose

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Agnistambhasana (AG-nee-stahm-BAHS-ah-nah) is sometimes referred to as double pigeon pose because the legs take a similar shape as they do in pigeon pose. Firelog pose creates a deep stretch in the outer hips and space in the low back.

Philosophy + Origin

Fire (agni) is a transformative element. Agnistambhasana can be very uncomfortable as many people carry deep tension in their hips. See if you can feel the fire building in your hips and with your breath as you hold this pose.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Sit on a folded blanket or block to create more space for your hips.
  • Place your top leg in front of your bottom leg (rather than on top of it) to ease pressure on the knees.
  • Use a block under your top ankle to release pressure on your bottom leg.
  • Use a block under your top knee to help the hip relax and to relieve discomfort in the knee.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Sit cross-legged with your right shin in front of your left.
  2. Shift your shins forward so they are about parallel with your mat.
  3. Flex your feet and scootch the soles of your feet closer to the edges of your mat, so your right ankle is about under your left knee, and your left ankle is about under your right knee.
  4. Use your hands to help lift your right shin on top of your left shin, right ankle on top of your left knee.
  5. Sit up tall or start to hinge forward at your hips. If folding forward, walk your hands out on the ground in front of you.
  6. Hold for up to a minute, then return to a neutral seat. Repeat on the other side.

PREPARATORY POSES:

SEQUENTIAL POSES:

  • Lotus pose | Padmasana
  • Long horn pose | Dirghasrngasana
  • Cow face pose | Gomukhasana

COUNTER POSES:

SANSKRIT:

  • Agni = fire
  • Stambha = logs
  • Asana = pose

BENEFITS:

  • Stretches the outer hips.
  • Thought to release tension in mind and body.
  • Thought to build digestive fire.


Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana: Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Parivrtta hasta padangusthasana (par-ee-VRIT-tah HAS-ta pod-ang-goosh-TAHS-anna) is a balancing posture that asks for flexibility. Use props and modifications to make this challenging posture accessible from right where you are.

Philosophy + Origin

While the name of this pose is straightforward, many yoga teachers call it dancing Shiva, which opens up a whole new perspective for understanding parivrtta hasta padangusthasana. Traditional depictions of Nataraj, or dancing Shiva, show the arms and legs moving fluidly across the body, which is how the shape of this posture earned it its nickname. Shiva’s dance is often referred to as a cosmic dance of bliss, showing the universal cycles of creation and destruction, birth and death. Practicing dancing Shiva is a recognition of these cycles, and improves the ability to find balance and peace in the midst of eternal change.

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