Originally known as the agnistambhasana, the fire log pose is also widely known as the burning log pose or the double pigeon pose. The fire log pose in yoga, like so many of the other poses in the discipline, is mainly focused on the person’s posture. This pose requires flexibility in the lower body, including the outer hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back, and glutes. It is often practiced toward the end of a yoga class when the body is warm and limber. Be sure to include hip-opening poses in your practice before trying Fire Log Pose.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Avoid practicing this pose if you have a recent or chronic injury to the knees, hips, or lower back. Fire Log Pose requires flexibility and self-awareness to be performed correctly. Do not attempt to learn Fire Log Pose on your own without the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable instructor. It is very easy to injure your knees and lower back if you try to move into it too soon.
How To Do The Agnistambhasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
- As you begin, first sit comfortably towards the edge of a blanket that is thick and folded. Keep your knees bent and place your feet firmly on the floor.
- Shrug the shoulders a little and let the tops of the upper arm bones move back. You could then press the tips at the bottom of the shoulder blades right into the back.
- Once done, place the left foot under the right leg making it move to the outer side of the right hip and then place the leg of that is on the outside on the floor.
- Place your right leg above the left leg with the right ankle placed on the outside portion of the left knee. For individuals that have a higher range of hip flexibility, slide the left shin forward and place it just below the right in order to raise the challenge faced by the body.
- In the event that this may be expecting too much from your body, you can choose to keep the left heel beside the right hip.
- The next phase of the pose requires you to place pressure on your heels and spread the toes while ensuring that your torso is extended as much as possible and exhaling while folding forward from the groin. A lot of people tend to bend forward from the belly instead of folding forward from the groin, avoid doing this as it would render the entire workout rather useless.
- Ensure that the space in the middle of the pubis and the navel remains long and place your hands touching the floor, right before your shins.
- You should continue to inhale, and thus allow your torso to rise slightly. While doing so, lengthen the distance between the pubis and the sternum. On your next exhalation, make it a point to get a deeper fold. Stay in this pose for at least a minute. Inhale while you bring the torso to an upright position and slowly move out of the pose.
- Follow the same steps now with your left leg on the top.
- Keep your pelvis in a neutral position, balancing equally on both sit bones.
- Be sure to change the cross of your legs, not favoring one side or the other. Hold the pose for the same length of time on each side.
- Keep your spine vertical throughout the pose. The crown of your head should maintain its alignment directly over your tailbone.
- Keep the front of your torso long and your collarbones broad throughout the pose. Do not overly round your back or hunch your shoulders.
To help release the hip, grip your thigh at the hip crease and forcefully rotate it outward (or laterally) before you lean forward.
Modifications & Variations
Here are a few suggestions:
- If your bottom knee doesn’t rest on the floor, support it with a folded, firm blanket.
- If your top knee sits far from your bottom ankle, place a folded blanket between your knee and ankle for extra support.
- Practice Eye of the Needle Pose until you have gained the flexibility and strength needed. If Eye of the Needle Pose is difficult, try Easy Pose (Sukhasana) first.
- If your hips are tight, you can release the stretch slightly by bringing your feet closer to your hips; this reduces the angles between your shins and thighs. You can also reduce the stretch by bringing your knees further apart, so your feet rest on your shins toward the inside of each knee.
- If your hips are very tight, do not sit flat on the floor! Prop yourself up on a blanket or two. Doing so will reduce the stress and discomfort in your hips, knees, and back. It will also open your groins further and bring your spine into correct alignment; this will help you to stay in the position for longer periods.
- For those with extremely tight hips, practice the pose seated in a chair. Leaving one foot flat on the floor, cross the opposite ankle over the knee of the grounded foot. Hold the pose for up to one minute, and then repeat on the opposite side.
- To deepen the stretch, press your hands against your feet. Then with your feet, resist against your hands as you fold forward.
Benefits Of The Agnistambhasana
- Opens and stretches the hips
- Stretches the groins and buttocks gently
- Stimulates the abdominal organs
- Strengthens legs and calves
- Calms the mind
- Relieves anxiety, tension and stress
Agnistambhasana can provide a deep release to your hips, which can feel good, but it can also feel intense. Be sure to keep correct alignment throughout the pose and ease up if you feel any pinching or jarring pain, particularly in your knees or back. When you are holding the pose in proper form using whatever props and modifications you need you will gain all of the benefits of this pose!