Staff Pose  -Dandasana

Step by step

  • Sit with your legs together and stretched out in front of you. Place your hands next to your hips on the floor.
  • Flex your feet and extend out through the heels. Engage your thighs and actively press your sitting bones down.
  • Draw your lower belly in and up. 
  • Slide your shoulder blades back and down along your spine. Bring the bottom of your shoulder blades towards each other, collar bones spread.
  • Bring your chin slightly back and down and keep the base of your neck soft.
  • Stay in this pose for 5 to 15 breaths. Keep engaging your abdominal muscles to maintain this pose.

Beginners' tips

  • Sit up on a block or a folded blanket. Use as many props as you need to be able to sit with a straight back.
  • If you find that keeping your legs together is uncomfortable, widen the feet to about hips distance apart.
  • Keep the knees soft and slightly bent if you feel too much sensation in your hamstrings.

Benefits

  • Strengthens the quads.
  • Improves core stability.
  • Strengthens the back muscles.
  • Prepares the body for most seated poses.

Watch out for

  • Try to keep the natural curves of your spine:
  • Notice if your lower back is rounding out, engage the abdominal muscles to maintain length in the spine.
  • Conversely try to avoid over-arching the lower back and lifting the chest too much. Think about bringing the lower ribs towards each other so they are not flaring out.
     

Variations

  • This pose can be done with feet slightly apart and/or with the arms stretched up overhead.