Double pigeon, or firelog, or square, or knee-to-ankle pose, or agnistambhasana in sanskrit (yoga poses are known by so many different names to different people) is a deep opening of the hips through strong external rotation.
It's a lovely pose, but challenging. It can put pressure on the knees or the hips if the hips are too tight and it can be challenging to get into.
You may have come across this pose in a group class and weren't offered the right modification or enhancement for your body and level of openness. Maybe you're building up more openness and want to learn how to progressively enhance the sensations in your body in this posture. We're glad you're here and we're happy to share what we know with you!
Check out below for different enhancements, modifications, alternatives, or options that will steadily promote openness in the hip through external rotation to allow you to explore this posture in your body. At the very end, you can download an entire sequence designed to warm up your body and prepare you for double pigeon or firelog, etc etc...
When you're stressed or anxious, it can be hard to relax or sleep. Thoughts are racing every which way and your heart is pounding in your chest. We've been there. You are not alone. Everyone manages stress differently and what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for someone else. Yesterday we looked at some different stress management techniques, and under self care we listed Restorative Yoga as an option.
Restorative Yoga provides you the opportunity to do nothing and be in stillness for extended periods of time. If you have anxiety, this can be scary or uncomfortable and staying in poses for a long amount of time may not be doable. Try making a list of the things you need to do after your practice so that you're not thinking about them as much during. Likewise, write anything else down that's on your mind to try to reduce the flow of thoughts. We're not trying to erase these thoughts, but simply saving them for later after we've had a chance to relax. Ultimately, listen to yourself and do what's right for you.
We created this Grounding Restorative Sequence for you to feel more connected and centred. Being grounded is to connect to that sense of stability we have within ourselves. A common symptom of stress is the feeling of instability, so we want to balance those feelings out in our practice. Allow the props you use to support you and carry the weight for you so that you have the opportunity to relax. Use any additional props or weights on top of your body to help you feel more rooted and grounded.
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At Yoga Quota, the vast majority of our classes are grounded in the philosophy of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, laid out by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras (c. 0-400 CE). The Eight Limbs of Yoga are:
In today's blog and as part of Mental Health Awareness week, we're going to explore more about the 7th limb, Dhyana or Meditation.
Meditation has many benefits that are only just now starting to be backed by science. Some of these benefits include:
Do I have to sit cross legged on the floor to meditate? It's uncomfortable or hurts my back/knees/etc...
No! The body can be in any position that is comfortable. This could mean sitting in a chair, sitting on a cushion, sitting with your back against a wall, laying down in bed or on the floor. There's no set position you have to be in to meditate. As long as you're comfortable and able to bring your attention to your breath, then you're doing it!
Should I meditate with my eyes open or closed?
Whatever works for you. There's something to be said for either. If you're practicing with your eyes open, try to focus on one point or object. Maybe a burning candle. This is so that it can help prevent your eyes from darting all over the room. You could even be meditating on/about the candle/object itself. If you're practicing with your eyes closed, try focusing on the rise and fall of the breath. Try to stay aware of the sensations within the body.
Closing the eyes may block out more distractions, but keeping the eyes open can also feel much safer. Practice what feels right for you.
My thoughts keep wandering...am I meditating?
Yes! That's actually brilliant if your thoughts wander! The whole point of meditation is to notice when you've become caught up in a thought and to bring your attention back to the present moment. Meditation is the tool we use to cultivate the skill of being in the present moment. So each time your mind wanders off and you catch it, then you are applying that skill of coming back to the present!
And without further ado...we've recorded a guided meditation of our own for you to listen to. Play it when you're feeling stressed or anxious or simply want a few moments of quiet. It's under 10 minutes long, so hopefully you can find just that short amount of time in your day for meditating. After you've downloaded and listened, be sure to leave us feedback!
Sign up to receive the free guided meditation.