Agnistambhasana: Fire Log Pose (Double Pigeon Pose)
Agnistambhasana (AG-nee-stahm-BAHS-uh-nuh), or Fire Log pose, is sometimes referred to as Double Pigeon Pose because the legs take the same shape as they do in Pigeon pose. Of course, with both legs feeling the stretch at the same time, Agnistambhasana can be a challenging pose to say the least. But, when done with proper preparation and intelligent alignment, Fire Log pose becomes a productive stretch for the outer hips, one that can relieve sciatic pain and discomfort.
Philosophy + Origin
Fire is a transformative element; both destructive and creative. In Agnistambhasana, you physically and mentally create a fire, one that can be harnessed positively or negatively depending on your intention. In myth and folklore, building a fire represents an opportunity for sacrifice, a chance to create an offering to improve conditions. Sacrificial fire is also a connection to other worlds; the smoke a vehicle for prayers and blessings to be lifted up to gods and creators of the universe. When practicing Agnistambhasana, embrace the physical sensations and use the fire as a way to process your offering. What do you need or want to sacrifice into the flames in order to create lasting transformation?
- Sit on a folded blanket or block to create more space for your hips to stretch.
- Use a block under your top ankle to lessen the intensity of the stretch and to be mindful of any pain or discomfort in the knee joint.
- Use a block under your top knee to help the hip relax and to relieve pain or pulling felt in the knee.
- Use Sukhasana, or Easy pose, as a milder version of a similar stretch.
- For more intensity, flex your feet and press through the soles of your feet as you draw your knees closer together and your feet further apart. While your knees and feet won’t stack on top of each other anymore, you will feel a deeper stretch.
CONTRAINDICATIONS AND CAUTIONS:
- Knee injuries or pain
- Lower back injuries or pain
- Ankle injuries
For many people, hips are so tight that stretching them can feel impossible. In order to make progress in this pose, the first thing you’ll need to do is find a way to get the hips to relax. In addition to using blocks under the top leg or sitting on a blanket to elevate your pelvis, you can also try rotating the top thigh. To do so, use your hands to grip your thigh right at the hip crease of your top leg. Use your fingers to manipulate and rotate the thigh out (externally). This action can help you create more room in your hips while giving your muscles physical permission to relax.
- Sit on your mat with spine straight and shoulders away from your ears. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor in front of you. Take your left foot and slide it under your right leg so that it comes just outside of your right hip. Allow your outer left leg to relax on the floor. Next, take your right leg and position it on top of the left so the right ankle is just outside of the left knee. The soles of your feet should be facing opposite directions.
- Flex your feet and press through your heels as you spread your toes. This is important as it can help protect your knees, which can be sensitive in this position. For many, sitting tall with the spine erect provides enough intensity for the outer hips. If, however, you have room, keep the front and the back of the torso long as you fold forward. Rather than folding from the hips, feel your groins initiate the forward bend.
- Focus on keeping length between your pubic bone and your navel, your sternum and your pubic bone. If you’re folding, place your hands or forearms on the floor directly in front of your shins.
- Stay in the posture for up to 60 seconds before using an inhalation to return to sitting. Uncross the legs and then repeat on the other side with your opposite leg on top.
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- Baddha Konasana
- Supta Baddha Konasan
- Bharadvajasana I
- Agni = fire
- Stambha = logs
- Asana = pose
- Stretches and opens the hips
- Strengthens and stretches the groins
- Stimulates abdominal organs
- Improves digestion
- Builds digestive agni
- Calms the mind
“Surya Beej Mantra”
Reciting the Surya Beej mantra each morning is said to create positive vibrations that are powerful enough to generate abundance and prosperity. To chant, repeat, “Om Hraam Hreem Hraum Sah Suryay Namah.” This mantra roughly translates to mean, “I salute the Great Sun God for his Divine Grace.”
MUDRA: Surya Mudra
Helpful for stimulating agni, or digestive fire, in the body, to practice Surya mudra bend the ring finger and place the thumb on top. Extend your index, ring and pinky fingers out, keeping the sides of the index and middle fingers together.
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