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Staff Pose (dandasana)

Seated posture that help increase the flexibility of your hips and pelvis.
 

Staff Pose (or dandasana) can help you learn how to sit with correct posture. Regular practice of this pose can also help increase the flexibility of your hips and pelvis and strengthen your lower back. This basic seated pose often serves as a starting position for other seated poses.
 
While you perform Staff Pose, you should be aware of both your upper and lower body. Your upper body should be erect, yet relaxed, and your lower body should feel grounded.
 
To provide extra support for your spine in this pose, you can place your palms directly behind your body with your fingers pointing behind you, instead of placing your palms beside your hips. If your hips are stiff, you can perform the pose sitting on a folded blanket. This modification raises your hips so your legs drop away from your pelvis, allowing you to sit more comfortably. Sitting on a folded blanket may also help keep you from rounding your lower back and can make finding the correct alignment of your spine easier.
 
Steps:
Sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs stretched out in front of you.
(Make sure your legs and feet are hip width apart and parallel.)
Press your sitting bones into the floor and point the crown of your head toward the ceiling to lengthen and straighten your spine.
Flex your feet and press out through your heels.
Place your palms on the floor beside your hips to support your spine and then relax your shoulders down. Your upper body should be erect, but relaxed.
Relax your legs to the floor so your lower body feels firmly grounded.
Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
 
Modification:
If you have stiff hips, perform Staff Pose sitting on a folded blanket. Sitting on a folded blanket raises your hips so your legs drop away from your pelvis, allowing you to sit more comfortably. This modification can also help you lengthen and straighten your spine more easily.
 
How can I modify Staff Pose if I have back problems?
If you have back problems or find this pose difficult to hold, you can perform the pose with your back lightly touching a wall. You can also choose to perform Legs Up the Wall Pose, which will protect your back even more while still providing the benefits of Staff Pose.
 
How can I stretch my upper body in Staff Pose?
To stretch your upper body in Staff Pose, interlace your fingers and then extend your arms forward, parallel to the floor. Turn your palms away from you so your thumbs are pointing toward the floor and then inhale as you raise your arms above your head until your arms are positioned slightly behind your ears. Be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed as you perform this variation. Stretching your upper body in Staff Pose can help open your chest and stretch the front of your abdomen.
 
 
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