APRIL POSE OF THE MONTH
Agnistambhasana - Fire Log Pose aka Double Pigeon or Square Pose
Agni - (Fire) Stambh - (Statue, stack, pillar) Asana - (Pose)
Welcome to April. This month we'll be working on opening the hips with Agnistambhasana or Fire Log Pose. Fire log pose is a deep hip opener that builds quite a bit of heat in the
hips and lower back hence the reference to fire in the name.
Agnistambhasana comes easier to those people who have naturally good external hip rotation that is, you find that your knees easily come close to the floor in easy cross legged pose or Sukhasana. If you have good range of motion in the hips its important that you pay attention to engaging the muscles as you stretch them, so you get a balance of evenly strengthening and stretching the muscles in order to maintain stability and support in this complex joint.
For those of you who have difficulty getting your knees towards the floor in easy cross legged pose it just means that you have limited ability in external rotation of the hips and know that it is not your fault it's down to simple bone structure... your femur bone is set deeper into the hip socket which isn't a bad thing so rest easy in that knowledge and don't push yourself too hard. It's important to listen to the signals in the body especially around the knees, our knees are not designed to be stretched so if you feel sensation around them please pull back, the heat and fire of this pose should very much be felt in the hips and lower back area.
Fire Log or Double Pigeon Pose is a wonderful pose if you sit a lot throughout the day whether at a desk or in a car as this pose helps to build and maintain flexibility around the hips. I must warn you though, if you have done a leg workout the day before your yoga practice you will most definitely be cursing and hating me while in Fire Log pose but thanking me the next day.... so I am willing to receive the death stares for the sake of your hips!!
Mental and Emotional Benefits
Calms the mind
Relieves anxiety, stress and tension
Activates sacral chakra - promoting intellectual and creative powers
Opens and stretches the outer hips
Streches piriformis, groins and psoas
Stretches calves and quads
Stimulates the abdominal organs, liver, kidney and spleen
Can be helpful for sciatica
Can help regulate digestion and metabolism
Cautions and Contraindications
Injury or inflammation in the hips or lower back
Injury or inflammation in the knee
Hints and Tips
Sit on a folded blanket or narrow block
Place blocks or blankets between knee and ankle and or between floor and knee
Do Sukhasana instead - place the top foot on the floor under the knee instead of on top
To deepen the intensity and heat begin to walk hands forward folding at the hip