Agnistambhasana ‘Square Pose’ Benefits, Practice and Contraindications

Common Name(s)Square pose and Fire Log Pose in English, Agnistambha in Sanskrit, 
MeridiansKidneys, Liver, Urinary and Gall Bladder Meridians
ChakrasMuladhara (Root) Chakra

The Square Pose, also called Agnistambhasana in Sanskrit and Firelog Pose in English, is a sitting posture asana which has slight variations as well. This pose directly affects the kidneys, liver, urinary bladder and gall bladder meridians. The muscles of hips, knees and pelvic are strengthened by this asana. 


Contraindications of Square Pose

Following precautions should be taken while doing this asana. The knowledge about these precautions is important to have in order to take due caution while doing the asana.

1/4. There can be pressure on legs when sitting down. So, if you have problem with knees, avoid doing this pose.

2/4. People with sciatica issue must raise their hip level by adding the cushion beneath hips. 

3/4. The flexion in spine is required. If there is a lower back pain issue then you might not be able to bend the spine too much. So, just practice whatever the body permits without getting into discomfort.

4/4. People with injury in ankles or arthritis in knees should best avoid this asana.


Steps to get into the Posture

1/5. You can sit in either cross-legged or one-leg-over-the-other pose. 

2/5. While sitting in one-leg-over-the-other pose, it is important to place the arch of the ankle, calves and knees on floor. The thighs become parallel to each other. 

3/5. The cross-legged position should also be comfortable. You can use cushioning if the ankles revolt or you feel uncomfortable sitting down on hip bones. 

4/5. An important point to note is that in both these positions, the effort should be to move the knees as much closer to each other as is possible. 

5/5. With hands supported on ground, try to bend forward and let the head drop. 


Benefits of the Square Pose

This asana has certain key benefits. These are enumerated below…

1/5. It is a good posture to begin with for the Lotus Pose.

2/5. Through external rotation of the hip, a deep opening of the hips happens. It also helps strengthen the groin muscles.

3/5. While bending forward, a deep opening of the lower back region of the body happens which give flexibility and strength to the muscles. 

4/5. This tones the muscles of thighs and calves and stretches the quadriceps and hamstrings of the body. 

5/5. This pose helps in preventing the joint pains, or arthritis.


Alternatives and Variations

Some other asanas can also be practiced if Square Pose or Agnistambhasana is difficult for you to do. These alternative asanas include Eye-of-the-needle pose, Shoelace Pose or Swan pose. These will help you to gradually build up to perform the Square Pose.


Coming out of the Pose

It is easy to come out of the pose. Push a little back to make some space. After that, you just have to get the legs straight in front. 


Counter poses to Square Pose

In this pose, the knees can get tired. Therefore, after coming out of the pose and sitting with legs straight, you can gently tighten and release both knees. Repeat this exercise a couple of times.

Similarly, there is a deep external rotation of the hips while entering into the pose. You can do the opposite and rotate the hips from inside after getting out of the Square Pose. 

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