Agnistombasana, or fire log pose (also known as double pigeon), is a very deep hip opening pose. Taking this pose can be challenging so it’s important that practitioners listen to their bodies and ensure they aren’t going too far – as is the case with any pose! Agni means fire and stomba means to put out or stop. So in this pose we aim to put out the fire. Unless you have loose hips, you’ll notice where the fire is and sometimes that feels literal. As we relax into the pose though, we feel the release start to happen. That release won’t begin until about 45 second to a minute sometimes so make sure to stay with it long enough to release. And breath…take long deep breaths as you hold the pose to help relax your mind and keep your oxygen flowing to all muscle groups.
To take agnistombasana, begin by sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position. Bring your left heel to sit in front of your right sitting bone. Bring your right heel to the top of your left knee. Check your ankle here. If the ankle is sickling you need to flex your foot more by drawing the outer edge of your foot (the pinky toe side) up toward the outer shin. You shouldn’t see wrinkles in your ankle. If this is feeling comfortable and you want to go deeper, bring the bottom foot (the left foot) to sit directly under your right knee so that the shin bones end up being stacked one over the other. Sit very tall . Ground your sitting bones firmly to the floor and expand your spine. You might stay here, but if you want to go deeper still you can fold over your bent legs and bring your hands to the floor. When you feel resistance stop and focus on your breath. When you feel the release begin you can fold deeper if you like. Your back should be long rather than curved when folding.
A modification is to take the bottom leg out straight with the toes pointed to the ceiling. If taking this position it may be helpful to place a block or pillow under the bent knee to allow the hip to relax open. Another option is to do this in a chair as shown below. It can be done anytime that you feel the need to stretch the hips, buttocks and hip flexors (psoas) which all tend to get tight when sitting.
Find the fire and then put it out by using your breath to bring relaxation to the tight hip muscles. Always be compassionate with yourself. It generally takes time to develop tightness in the body and we need allow time to release it.