The Fire Log pose (Agnistambhasana), also called the Double Pigeon pose or Square pose, is a deep hip-opening posture. And it's not called the Fire Log pose for nothing–it generates internal heat and can feel intense around the groin and the hips.
But although fire is an intense element, it is also a purifying element full of creativity and renewal. So try it out and let the fire within this pose renew and purify you from within.
Benefits of The Fire Log Pose
Because it's a deep hip-opening pose, it stretches the thighs, buttocks and stimulates the internal organs. This pose is especially beneficial for people who have to sit a lot during the day, as it releases and opens the hips after long periods of sitting.
Step by Step
- Start in Dandasana, sitting with your legs straight in front of you. Fold either a blanket underneath your hips, or roll half of the yoga mat to elevate your hips slightly.
- Place your right foot on top of the left knee (or just above the knee), and fold your left foot underneath your right knee. Your shins are now stacked up like two pieces of fire logs. Make sure there is no pain or stretch in the knees.
- Keep both ankles flexed and keep the shins parallel to the front of your mat.
- Inhale to straighten your back and make yourself long. Press both sitting bones equally to the floor, and make sure your lower back is not rounding.
- Stay here, and keep your hands or fingertips on the floor next to you.
- If it feels possible, start to bring your upper body forward. Keep your back straight and long, and bring your upper body towards the legs. You can keep your hands on the legs, or extend your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Stay for 6-8 long and steady breaths, and slowly come out into Dandasana. Repeat on the other side.
Tips and Modifications
This pose demands a lot from the hips, which you can feel as tension in your knees if your hips are not that open. If the hips are not open, we can end up compromising the knees when the pressure moves from the hips to the knees. And knees are one area we never want to stretch or strain!
If you feel any pain or stretch in the knees, please modify the pose with props.
- If you have any serious knee injuries, avoid this pose altogether.
- If your hips are tight, take some blocks or blankets next to you. Observe the body, and make sure you feel this pose on the inner groin and thighs, not in the knees.
- Lay a block next to the left shin and lift your right ankle on the block instead of the knee. This will lower the pressure on the knee while still opening the hips.
- You can also place a towel or a blanket between your upper knee and lower ankle to provide support in case the knee is hanging in the air. Do the same for the bottom knee it's lifting from the floor.
- If your hips feel very tight, you can sit on a chair and do one leg at a time. Same benefit, less stress on the knees!
- If you are very flexible, you can bring the knees closer together, and your feet further apart. This intensifies the opening in the hips.
Fire Log or Double Pigeon pose involves a deep external rotation of the hips, which comes more naturally for some than for others. Listen to your body and be loving especially towards the knees. The time building this pose is a good reminder of letting go of results and enjoying the process.
Never mind where the knees are, or how far from the floor. Feel the effect, feel the fire, and remind yourself that the process is all that matters.