Staff Pose / Dandasana
Step by step
- Sit with your legs together and stretched out in front of you. If you find it hard to sit with a straight back, sit on a block or folded blanket. Place your hands next to your hips on the floor.
- Flex your feet and extend out through the heels. Pull the tops of your thighs up towards your hips and down to the floor. Actively press your sitting bones into the floor and a little towards the back.
- Draw your lower belly in and up. Use your abdominal strength to help you to sit straight.
- Draw your shoulders back and down along your spine. Bring the bottom of your shoulder blades towards each other. Your chest is open but keep your front ribs soft.
- Check that your shoulders are over your hips and that your ears are in line with your shoulders. Tuck your chin slightly so that the back of your neck is long.
- Stay in this position between 5-15 breaths. Keep engaging your abdominal muscles to maintain this pose.
- As a variation, on an in-breath you can take your arms out and lift them overhead. If you feel your upper back rounding with your arms all the way up, lower your arms a bit so you can see them out of the corners of your eyes in order to maintain length in your upper back.
- If you find that keeping your legs together is uncomfortable for your hips, widen the feet to about hips’ distance apart.
- For tight hamstrings, keep the knees soft and slightly bent.
- Strengthens the quads
- Improves core stability
- Strengthens the back muscles
Watch out for
- Don’t overarch the lower back in this pose - engage the abdominal muscles to maintain length in the lumbar spine
- Knit the ribs in to stop them from flaring out
This pose can be done with feet slightly apart and/or with the arms stretched up overhead.
- Complementary poses
Try it in class
Teacher: Esther Ekhart
Duration: 60 mins