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Dandasana or Staff Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Dandasana, Staff Pose, Base Pose
Sanskrit
दण्डासन / Daṇḍāsana
Pronunciation
Dahn-DAH-uh-nuh
Meaning
danda: “stick”, “Rod”
asana: “posture”

Dandasana at a Glance

Staff pose is a preparatory Simple Seated Yoga Pose, where you keep your legs extended in the front and your hands beside the hips, pressing your palm toward the ground. Improve your posture and alignment.

Benefits:

Perfect foundation Poses

This is a basic yoga pose, a foundation pose, and very fruitful as, over some time, it can correct your

posture.

Strengthens back muscles

It enhances your spinal support and promotes more support to your back, which reduces back pain.

Engages your core

The abdominal muscles get engaged, which strengthens and stabilizes your abdominal area.

Boosts your balance and concentration

Practicing consistently improves your balance, enhances your self-awareness, and improves your concentration power.

Who can do it?

People new to yoga can start with this pose: a beginner, working from home or the office, sitting jobs, traveling often, working with computers for long hours, and pregnant women. This could help mindful practice for someone who wants to reconnect with their body and mind.

Who should not do it?

Although Dandasana is a safe yoga practice, people suffer from recent injuries, surgery, and severe back pain. People with high blood pressure should avoid issues with the hip, knee, and ankle. Pregnant mothers in their third trimester should consult their yoga teacher health care professionals.

How to Do Staff Pose (Dandasana)?

Follow the Step-by-Step Instructions

To practice the yoga pose, sit on the floor peacefully, extend your legs straight, your toes point to you (flex your feet), and your heels touch the floor. Start with a relaxed mind. Alignment plays a key role in Dandasana, so check on the alignment, sit straight, lengthen your spine, see that your collarbones are broadened, and your legs should be close to each other.

  1. Your shoulders should be relaxed and away from your ears.
  2. Bring your hands to the side of your hips, fingers pointing forward your feet, and see your arms are straight.
  3. Slowly pull your belly button towards your spine and engage your core muscles, which will help to enhance the posture.
  4. Gaze forward or look slightly upward, keeping your neck straight-lined to your spine (neutral neck position).
  5. Inhale slowly, engage your core and exhale, maintaining the stretch and stability. You can hold the Dandasana pose for 30 sec or as per your comfort and gradually increase it.
  6. Breathe slowly and deeply. Take in at a slow pace.
  7. To release, just come out of the Dandasana yoga pose, feel the sensations in your body then slowly bend your knees.
  8. Take your hands off the floor, come to a relaxing pose, and take a few relaxed breaths before you go for another round.

What are the Benefits of Danasana?

  • Dandasana is simple and one of the best asanas for better posture alignment, spinal health and body awareness.
  • If practiced regularly, it improves your spinal health and posture alignment and also adds to strengthening the back. This does create more self-confidence, both physically as well as mentally.
  • Dandasana also activates your core muscles, which increases your overall abdominal health. Strengthens your hamstring and calf muscles.
  • This yoga pose nourishes with more stability, focus, and self-awareness.
  • Staff yoga poses help you comfortably carry out your day-to-day activities (home or office) without any issues, improve your sitting posture, and avoid forming hunch in your back as you grow old.
  • It is one of the preparatory poses for all other sitting and difficult poses and enhances your mental stability.

Health Conditions that Might Benefit from Dandasana

  • Dandasana has amazing health benefits.
  • People with poor posture can benefit if they perform staff (Dandasana)regularly and try to do some advanced poses later.
  • Minor back pain can be improvised, and people with weak core muscles can be helpful if they start doing staff poses.
  • With mindful breathing and doing Dandasana, you can reduce your stress, achieve calmness, and cultivate mental and physical balance.
  • This can help in mild digestive issues as this asana engages with the core muscles.
  • Dandasana can be a compliment for the athletes to enhance their overall performance.

Safety and Precautions

  • Staff Poses, or Dandasna, is simple, but you must take precautions if you have any wrist or back injury.
  • If you experience any pain while doing this asana, stop.
  • Use props if needed, don’t overstretch and strain your neck too much.
  • Just listen to your body.

Common Mistakes

  • Don’t let your legs fall outside. Keep it straight, toes pointing up to the sky.
  • Don’t round your back to ensure you can use the wall as your prop so that your lower back does not touch the wall.
  • Keep your shoulders at ease and not near your ears. Don’t lock your knees or strain too much. It’s important to maintain controlled breath for the Dandasna pose.

Tips for Dandasana

  • When you practice, staff pose, use a firm place to sit, use a yoga mat, and use props (cushions or blocks) if needed. Don’t strain your neck.
  • See that your toes are pointing to the sky. If you have tight hamstrings, try to help yourself with a prop. Always be aware of your spine. Don’t hunch your back. Be grounded. Feel your sitting bones.
  • Monitor your breath. (Slow, deep, and balanced) Respect your body.

The Physical Alignment Principles for Dandasana

  • Physical alignment is important while practicing yoga postures and the key to the Dandasana foundational pose.
  • The place you are seated should be firm and ensure you are grounded with your sitting bones and feel it.
  • Legs should be straight, in front of you, toes pointed to the sky, spine elongated, neck straight in line with your back.
  • Engage your core muscles by pulling towards your spine.
  • Press your palms to the floor, hands beside the hip, fingers pointing in the front.
  • Breadth, slowly and deeply, follows a rhythm.
  • Be mindful of your alignment and body sensations, and be relaxed.

Dandasana and Breath

You get a space for conscious breathing as you capture the Dandasana pose by sitting with your spine straight. You engage your core to breathe more free flow in and out, experiencing calmness and relaxation. Your breadth is the key that enhances the mind-body connection and ensures many other health benefits.

Dandasana and Variations

  • Supported Dandasana(supported by props like blocks, cushions, or blankets).
  • Half Staff pose (when tight hamstrings).
  • A wide-legged staff pose can be done with feet slightly apart.
  • Seated forward bend with support.
  • Don’t push your body too hard to become perfect. Respect and listen to your body and increase gradually.

Take Away

It’s a simple and base yoga posture for other advanced postures. Beginners and all age groups can perform staff poses. Align your spine with your neck. Engages your core and back muscles for better strength and healthy posture.  Keep your shoulders relaxed with your chest open. Be mindful of your body alignment and improved posture.

Dandasana can be modified according to your physical comfort with props. Practicing (staff pose) balances energy flow and supports your mental health. When your mental and physical levels are charged well, your energy levels are enhanced towards your day-to-day activities and boost your self-confidence. Make it a regular practice (in everyday routine) to do the pose.

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Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga International. She is known worldwide for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. She got the Top 100 Entrepreneur of Singapore award in 2022. Meera is a yoga teacher and therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga International, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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