Agnistambhasana: Firelog Pose
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.
- 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.
- Sit cross-legged with your right shin in front of your left.
- Shift your shins forward so they are about parallel with your mat.
- 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.
- Use your hands to help lift your right shin on top of your left shin, right ankle on top of your left knee.
- 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.
- Hold for up to a minute, then return to a neutral seat. Repeat on the other side.
- Bound angle pose | Baddha konasana
- Easy pose | Sukhasana
- Supine figure four
- Lotus pose | Padmasana
- Long horn pose | Dirghasrngasana
- Cow face pose | Gomukhasana
- Agni = fire
- Stambha = logs
- Asana = pose
- Stretches the outer hips.
- Thought to release tension in mind and body.
- Thought to build digestive fire.
Malasana: Squat Pose or Garland Pose
A great stretch for ankles and the lower back, Malasana (mahl-AH-sana), which is also referred to as Squat or Garland pose, opens the groin and tones the belly. While comfortable for some, Malasana can be difficult for others. Appropriate adjustments and modifications can help students enjoy the benefits of this posture while strengthening and opening the muscles needed to practice Malasana and other postures.
Philosophy + Origin
There are many beautiful attempts to defend the translation of Malasana as “Garland Pose.” While mala most commonly refers to a garland or rosary, many students have a difficult time understanding how this imagery applies to the pose. Some teachers argue that the shape of the body depicts the bead on a mala, or perhaps the arms look like a mala or garland hanging from the neck. Other teachers will use the story of how this posture is traditionally taken when receiving the gift of a garland from a spiritual teacher. While all very poetic, there’s another lesser-known understanding of Malasana that makes more sense. The word mala can also be translated as excrement. Considering the digestive benefits of this posture, it makes a lot more sense.