Agnistambhasana with Garudasana Arms
To begin Agnistambhasana, sit again a wall or chair in a tailor position. From here, bring one leg atop the other, moving the foot in the direction of the other leg’s knee. Eventually, you will be sitting with one foot on the opposite knee and one knee over the opposite foot, with your calves parallel to your torso. If necessary, use a block or blanket to sit on, so as to raise the hips and make the stretch less intense. A blanket can also be used between the top knee and bottom foot if there’s a great deal of distance; this allows the high knee to rest and begin stretching the tight muscles.
Agnistambhasana can be used as an introductory pose for those interested in wrapping their legs into Ardha Padmasana, or Half Lotus Pose. From Fire Log, bring the top foot towards the crease where the leg attaches to the torso. For those raised to sit on the floor and use their toes as extra fingers, this is an easy way to sit; for Westerners, it can feel almost torturous.
Once your legs are in the pose, bring your arms into Garudasana. Straighten your back and lift your hands to prayer position at the heart. Inhale, spread your arms wide, and cross them in front of your torso to hug yourself. Your arms should be opposite to your legs: in other words, your right arm is on top when your left leg is as well. Stay here, or wrap your arms around each other at the elbow, reaching around to lock the fingers. Breathe deeply, and allow the body to stretch. Then come out of the poses, and repeat on the opposite side.
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