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 the hips on the floor.
- Flex your feet, extending out through the heels. Pull the tops of your thighs up towards your hips and down to the floor. Actively press your sit bones into the floor and a little to the back.
- Draw your lower belly in and up, use your abdominal strength to help you sit straight.
- Draw your shoulders back and down along the spine bring the bottom of the shoulder blades towards each other. Your chest is open but keep your front ribs soft.
- Check that your shoulders are over the hips and your ears are in line with the shoulders, chin slightly tucked 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 inbreath 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 from the sides of your eyes and you can maintain the length in the upper back again.
- Strengthens the quads
- Improves core stability
- Strengthens the muscles of the back