Staff Pose or Dandasana is one of the key seated asanas. Although it looks easy, it is a very active pose and its affects on the body will certainly be noticed if the position is held for one minute or more! The alignment and positioning of the body in this pose provides the basis for many of the other seated asanas – practicing staff pose encourages us to sit with better posture on and off the mat.
How to do it
Come into a seated position with your legs together.
Try to feel your sitting bones on the mat- move the flesh of your buttocks out to the side.
Engage the muscles in your legs, gently drawing the knee caps towards your torso.
Flex your feet, imagining that you are pushing them up against a wall.
Ground down through your sit bones, and at the same time lengthen your spine, trying to sit as tall as you can.
Bring the hands alongside the body (slightly behind the body if you have long arms) and gently press your palms into the ground, helping you to sit up straighter.
Try to relax your shoulders and keep an open chest.
Stay here for one minute or longer.
*If you have tight hamstrings and so find it difficult to sit with a straight spine/straight legs, sit on a pillow or block. Tight hamstrings will cause the pelvis to tilt backwards slightly, as the hamstrings are attached to our sitting bones. Raising the pelvis by sitting on something adjusts this tilt.
Encourages correct posture.
Strengthens the back muscles.
Stretches the shoulders and the chest.
Do not practice dandasana if you have lower back or wrist injury.