Dandasana (Staff Pose Or Base Pose)
Dandasana, Staff Pose, Base Pose
दण्डासन / Daṇḍāsana
Dandasana (Dahn-DAH-uh-nuh) is the blueprint for all the seated postures. This asana gives the fundamental understanding of how evenly sit on both sit bones, which is essential in all seated postures as it ensures the upward lift of the spine and sustains the natural curves of the spine. Dandasana also teaches students to keep legs and arms active in all the seated postures, removing sluggishness from the body.
This pose strengthens the legs and back muscles while lengthening the spine and broadening the chest and shoulders. It also stretches the hamstrings. All of these combined result in posture improvement.
Being seated is essential to practice in yoga. In Ashtanga Yoga of Sage Patanjali, it is clear that the practice of asanas should gradually lead one to dhayana (meditation). Therefore Sage Patanjali mentions that the asana practice should develop stability and comfort of mind to eventually progress towards the other limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. Being seated physically and mentally is essential in yoga. Being the first seated asana introduced in the teaching process, this asana brings calmness to the mind after the standing postures. Dandasana also promotes stability in the mind as all the energy centers of the spine are in kept in line with each other.
People with lower back conditions, a sacrum tilted backwards or tight hamstrings should sit on a folded blanket or block. This keeps the spine straight and removes the roundness in the lower and mid-back.