Friday, May 24, 2013

Agnistambhasana or "Fire Log" Asana

Sanskrit: Agnistambhasana                        Western Term: Double Pigeon or Fire log Asana

Origin of Word
Agni = fire; stambh = pole; column; log

Type of Asana: Seated Asana

Another photo by the wonderful Christine Sears :) 

How To:
1.     Sitting up tall on your mat, inhale as you stack your right shin on top of your left shin. Try to align your right ankle directly over your left knee. Exhale grounding your hips into the earth.
2.     There are many arm variations that you can do in this asana. Today’s blog, we will focus on a shoulder opener for both arms called gomukasana (“cow face”) arms. Inhale as you bring your right arm out to the side and bend your right elbow to reach your right fingertips down your back. Press your left hand down on your right elbow to encourage the energy down and help open the right shoulder. Reach your left arm out to the side and bend your left elbow to reach your left fingertips up your back, trying to connect both fingertips together.
3.     Exhale keeping a flat back as your hinge from your hips over your legs. Feel both elbows reaching to the back of the room to increase the shoulder opening. Stay in flat back for 3 breaths before rounding your back and dropping both hands forward. You’re welcome to stack both hands in fists (for more height) or flat on the ground (to drop your head lower) as your round and release your head and neck. Make sure to keep weight in your sits bones. Stay for 3-5 breaths until you’ve found the climax in the asana before rolling up through center and switching sides (for legs and arms).

Body Points:
*feel earthy in your hips, keeping weighted and dropping your energy down
*simultaneously lengthen your spine when seated up tall, feeling the energy reaching upward
*listen to your shoulders! Find your edge. It’s important to not only improve and push yourself, but also to know when to back off.

 Emphasized Body Parts: hips, groin, shoulders

Mental Achievements: the earthy element in this pose encourages your body to relieve stress

An aid for beginners: kramas are the various levels for a certain asana (pose). The krama of any pose should be approached with love and respect for your body on that specific day that you practice, for we are constantly changing. For any given pose, there are various levels of advancement. This krama that I offer is for those who are newer to the pose or looking for a more lunar variation:

-If you find it difficult to sit up straight with your shoulders over your hips, place a folded blanket or block (depending on severity) under your hips.

-Help release your hips by gripping your thighs at your hip crease and using your hands to encourage rotation outward before folding over the legs.

Chakra: Muladhara or 1st chakra found in the base of your spine. It is symbolized by a four-petaled red lotus. This chakra is similar to a root. When you gain consciousness of your first chakra, you can build your life upon a solid foundation.
-the bija mantra or “seed sound” to repeat while in a 1st chakra yoga asana is “lam” in order to unlock the secrets of the earth.

Ancient Sanskrit Proverb: “Regular exercise gives you good health, longevity, strength, and happiness. Health is the biggest wealth. It is the key to every success.”

In Ayurveda, the season of spring is a kapha or earthy time.

Element: earth

Alternative Uses: this asana is used in not only Yoga classes but also various fitness classes like BarSculpt. In BarSculpt, fire log pose with gomukasana arms is a pose that we use to open our shoulders after strengthening your front and back body of your arms.

*Be cautious and make sure a Yoga teacher is present while doing this pose if you suffer from lower back injury or knee injury


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