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You know that moment when you’re happily practicing in your favorite class and then your teacher calls out “Fire Log Pose” and asks you to hold it for what feels like 47 years? For me, any good yoga vibes end there. While I’m pretty naturally flexible, this pose still gets me every time. Oh, and if you catch me the day after I’ve done any sort of strength training? Forget about it. My hips are screaming, my glutes feel like they could snap, and sometimes my knees feel it too. Total yoga hell right there! Luckily, there are some fun and funky ways to help make this pose a little more bearable. And I even have a trick for the bendy yogis to whom deep external rotation—and this pose—comes naturally.
See also Hip-Opening Fire Log Pose
Modification 1: Prop top ankle on a block
If you feel like your leg “gets stuck” or your hip locks up before you can get that right foot on top of the bottom knee, start with this modification. You’ll want to place a block in front of your left shin on whatever height feels appropriate. I kept mine at a medium height, but you may want to go lower by flipping the block on it’s widest side. Instead of forcing your right ankle up and over when it doesn’t feel natural to do so, take a step back and reduce the pressure on the top knee by propping your ankle up on the block. It’ll still give you the “hip opener” feeling without the unnecessary pressure on your knee joint. Keep in mind, even as you modify, it’s still important to keep your top ankle flexed.
Modification 2: Prop top ankle and knee on block
Adding on to the first modification: If you feel pain in your outer right knee (or like it’s “pulling/stretching apart”), turn another block on its side and bring it between the left foot and right knee. This feels a little awkward at first, but take a bit of creative license to find the exact placement of the block that’s comfortable for you. The goal is to find a position that allows you to rest the kneed on the block and relax the right hip, which will help relieve that pulling sensation.
Modification 3: Slide top ankle past bottom knee
Super-flexible yogis, I haven’t forgotten you. Because for as many people as I know who have trouble with this pose, I know an equal number who feel next to nothing in it! To take this pose deeper, try sliding the right ankle beyond the left knee. Even though the joints aren’t perfectly stacked, try to keep the right knee from popping up toward the chest. The flatter the legs are here, the more you will feel.
About Erin Motz
Listen, I’m not your traditional yogi: I’m the carnivorous, red wine, and French cheese-loving type and I teach vinyasa flow. My aim is to keep my classes fun and accessible, both in the studio and online. You won’t hear much Sanskrit, I totally forgive you if you don’t know your asana from your elbow, and I firmly believe that yoga is for everyone, from the kale-loving vegan to the prize-winning deer hunter. I may be a Bad Yogi, but if I’m being totally honest, teaching yoga has been one of my greatest pleasures; I practice to feed my teaching, but I teach to feed my life. Catch up with her on: www.erinmotz.com/, Instagram: @erinmotz, Facebook: @erinmotzyoga