Fire Log Pose, Agnistambhasana, (AG-nee-stahm-BAH-suh-nuh)
agni (fire) + stambha (statute or pillar) + asana (pose)
Also Known as: Fire Statue Pose, Square Pose
The Fire Log Pose provides the deepest stretch for your hips, relieving tightness, and soothing sciatic pain
Fire Log Pose Fundamentals
This dynamic hip opener is all you need after a long day of sitting and standing. As simple as this pose may seem, you might find your hips screaming when you attempt it so it’s best to start slow if you are new to this pose. Unlike its cousin, easy seat, Fire Log Pose might not feel as natural but over time it might just become one of your favorites for the deep release you will feel in your hips, groin, psoas, and lower back.
Fire Log Pose targets the piriformis which is the muscle located behind the glutes and when strained responsible for causing sciatica pain. In Ayurveda, Agni means fire which is responsible for helping us digest and transforms everything in our life.
It is a great restorative or yin posture that can be used to target any pent-up stress or trauma we might be storing in the hips which neuroscience is now pointing to as the potential storage of emotion. When practicing this pose do not force it or try to make it “look” the right way, instead choose sensation and listen to your body because the hips don’t lie!
It’s not uncommon for most of us to not even be able to get our ankle past our calf. This pose asks us to breathe and drop into the message of our body.
Even though it is a seated posture it’s probably one of the most intense yoga poses to come into in our yoga practice.
Many of us have tight hips from sitting (tight hip flexors) and also from activities that put heavy use on the lower legs like running and biking (tight outer hips). Have grace for yourself in this pose for it will challenge you and light a fire under your log.
Fire Log Pose Benefits
- Deep stretch in the hips, groin, inner thighs, and piriformis.
- Tones the core and strengthens the deeper muscles of the abdomen.
- Improves posture and hunch back syndrome.
- Helps alleviate sciatica pain.
- Counteracts the negative effects of sitting all day by stretching and targeting hardened fascia in the hips.
- Grounds and stabilizes you if you are feeling frazzled and unstable.
- Stretches the psoas (the muscles responsible for flexing the hip joints and lifting the upper legs toward the body).
How To Do Fire Log Pose: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
1. Start by sitting on the ground in easy seat. Grab a towel to sit on to help support you in this pose especially if you are tight in the hips.
2. Bring your right leg out in front of you and line the shin parallel to the edge of your mat. This is to create more of an opening in your hip.
3. Slow and with control grab your right foot and stack the ankle over the left thigh, the right foot should hang slightly over the left knee at a 90-degree angle. If you find that the hips are very tight do not try to force it instead, try to breathe into the tight places and allow your ankle to come to the degree where it feels naturally comfortable. Discomfort is welcome as long as there is no sharp pain.
4. Find integrity in your spine, rather than hunching and rounding. Use the palms at the heart center and thumbs to lift your sternum to the sky and find expansion. Kiss the shoulder blades together.
5. Take 5-10 breaths here or as long as you feel comfortable. Repeat on the opposite leg.
Tips And Tricks:
- Feel free to lean back and tilt the hips forward to help with the opening of the hips.
- Remember to bring the bottom leg out far enough outside of you so that can create more room in the hips.
- For tight hips, bring a pillow, block, or blanket underneath the knee of the top leg to let you relax the ankle and allow you to feel the full effect of this pose and a deeper opening in the hips.
- Keep a liveliness in the ankles and the feet flexed and active rather than letting them hang inactive.
- If this pose is feeling too strenuous on your knees or hips try simply bending at the knees and crossing at your ankles or shins.
Fire Log Pose Variations:
Fire Log Pose With Elbows To The Floor
For those of us with a little more flexibility and looking for more sensation, come into fire log pose and extend the arms out and maybe come onto the elbows for a deeper stretch in the hips.
Fire Log Pose With One Leg Extended
To slowly build into this pose try starting with just one leg bent and the other extended. This will facilitate the stretch in each individual hip and help ease you into this dynamic hip opener pose without feeling like you are forcing or straining to stay in it.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Avoid slouching or losing integrity in the spine by driving your navel in towards your spine.
Try not to force the knees and ankles to stack on top of one another, instead allow them to come to the degree they feel most comfortable in.
Keep both sit bones rooted on the ground.
Knee, Ankle or Hip Injury
You will bear your upper body weight onto the hip, knee, and ankle joints in this pose. If you are suffering from knee, or hip injury skip this pose.
Lower Back Injury
This pose aims to take pressure off the low back by engaging the core and growing up tall but it will add strain to a low back injury and getting back up might be very hard. Opt for a standing pose instead or skip it.
Sukhasana (Easy Seat)
Virasana (Hero Pose)
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
Malasana (Garland Pose)
Baddah Konasana (Cobblers Pose)
Gomukasana (Cow Face Pose)
Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby)
Balasana (Childs Pose)
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