Just as Mountain pose (Tadasana) is the foundation for standing yoga poses, Staff pose (Dandasana) is the foundation for most seated poses. The spine acts as the “staff,” supporting the upper body and creating a connection with the earth. Practicing Staff pose can also help bring awareness to the bandhas, or energy locks in the body — Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, and Jalandhara Bandha. Read on to learn more about Staff pose and the benefits it has to offer!
Benefits Of Staff Pose
Staff pose strengthens the hip flexors, back and abdominal muscles, and stretches the shoulders and chest. Practicing Staff pose intelligently can help to increase core strength and improve posture over time.
Staff Pose Step-By-Step
- Sit down on the ground with your legs together and extended straight out in front of you. Move the flesh out from underneath your sitting bones and root them firmly down into the ground.
- Flex your feet and press your heels down, distributing your weight evenly across the inner and outer leg. Activate your legs without hyperextending your knees, and gently draw your energy in toward the mid-line of your body.
- Plant your palms beside your hips with your fingertips pointing toward your toes, and press into your hands to sit up tall.
- Gently draw your low ribs in and find a slight lift in your sternum, bringing your torso perpendicular to the floor. Soften the tops of your shoulders and relax your shoulder blades down your back.
- Lengthen all the way from your tailbone up and out through the crown of your head, and tuck your chin in slightly toward your chest.
- Remain in the pose anywhere from 5 to 10 breaths.
- If you feel a pull in your hamstrings and/or experience any strain in your lower back, place a folded towel or blanket underneath your sitting bones to elevate your hips.
- Try practicing the pose against a wall to help find the shape of the pose in your body. Sit against a wall with your legs extended straight out in front of you — your sacrum and shoulder blades should be against the wall, but not your low back.
- If your palms don’t firmly touch the ground, place blocks underneath your hands.