Agnistambhasana: The Double Pigeon Pose

Agnistambhasana (AG-nee-stahm-BAHS-uh-nuh), also known as the Double Pigeon or Fire Log pose, is an intense hip opener that stretches the hips and groin while relieving anxiety, tension and stress. As you complete your poses and routines, pay special attention to your breathing. Maintain this focus with each inhale and exhale, focusing on how this constant change affects your pose.

Sanskrit:

  • Agni: fire
  • Stampbha: statue
  • Asana: pose

Philosophy and Origins:

In general, yoga asanas help us focus on the all of the energies in our lives, including the distracting and wayward forces that can be the sources of our anxiety and stress. By embracing the calm state that the Double Pigeon Pose offers, you are able to examine and expel these forces from deep within your core, groin and hips, opening your body to this state of calm. Hip openers like the Double Pigeon Pose help to awaken a powerful and naturally centered energy in the pelvis and navel area. This energy can then be drawn into the higher centers of our bodies, such as the heart, throat and mind.

Tips:

This hip opener stretches the hips and groin. While this can help with relief from discomfort and prevent strain, exercise caution. Go slowly and don’t push your body beyond its limits.

Level:

Beginner (1)

Physical Benefits:

  • Stretches and opens the hips
  • Strengthens and stretches the groin

Energetic Benefits:

  • Relieves anxiety, tension and stress

Mudra: Kalesvara Mudra

While practicing this pose, focus on calming the anxious and agitated thoughts and aspects of your energies. This mudra targets these qualities and helps enhance the relief from tension and stress that this exercise offers. The Kalesvara Mudra when practiced with your exercise can help to balance your mind, body and spirit.

How to: Touch both palms together while touching thumbs and joining each finger with its opposite. Gently fold your index finger downward. Repeat this fold for your ring and pink fingers, leaving only the middle fingers extended outwards. Point your thumbs towards your body and hold.

Mantra:

Om gam ganapataye namaha (The Ganesh Mantra)

By chanting this mantra before, during or after your exercise, you call upon Ganesh, the remover of obstacles and invoke the power to further relieve anxiety and stress you may be experiencing. This chant is especially beneficial during new beginnings and times where you feel restrained or bogged down by daily stressors.

Preparatory Poses:

  • Baddha Konasana
  • Supta Baddha Konasana

Follow-Up Poses:

  • Paschimottanasana
  • Bharadvajasana I

Contraindications and Cautions:

This pose is an intense hip opener and you should check with a doctor before performing the pose if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Knee injuries
  • Lower Back injuries
  • Ankle injuries
  • Tight hips or groins

Adjustments/Modifications:

  • If your hips are very tight, stay in the figure four position described in step 2 below
  • You can place a pillow or foam block under your buttocks to create more space in your hips

Step-By-Step:

  1. Sit on your mat with your knees bent in front of you, feet flat on the floor and palms pressing into the earth behind you.
  2. Lean back in to your hands, releasing your shoulders down your back. Cross your right ankle over your left knee, until you make a figure four shape with your legs. Keep your right foot flexed and draw your right knee away from you until you feel a stretch in your right hip.
  3. Wiggle or heel-toe your left foot towards the right. Walk your hands slightly forward, so that you have enough room to sit up straight and stack your legs.
  4. Line up the ankle or side of your right foot over your left knee, and your right knee over your left ankle, or side of the foot. Try to make your shins parallel to each other, with the right stacked directly over the left.
  5. Breathe here, or walk your hands forwards and recline forwards. Hold for 1 minute or more, and then uncross your legs to come out of the pose. Repeat on the opposite side.

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