One You Really Must Know
This foundational asana helps Yogis to sit with correct posture, and serves as a starting position for other seated poses.
Achieving correct form with Dandasana or Staff Pose, makes the target asana easier to assume and more beneficial as well. Staff Pose helps increase the flexibility of the hip and pelvis, and strengthen the lower back.
Anyone who experiences chronic lower back pain should find this Yoga asana especially helpful and simple to learn.
1. Sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs stretched out in front of you.
*Make sure your legs and feet are hip width apart and parallel.
2. Press your sitting bones into the floor and point the crown of your head toward the ceiling to lengthen and straighten your spine.
3. Flex your feet and press out through your heels.
4. Place your palms on the floor beside your hips to support your spine and then relax your shoulders down. Your upper body should be erect, but not stiff.
5. Relax your legs to the floor so your lower body feels firmly grounded.
6. Hold the pose for 20 to 60 seconds, depending on your comfort level.
*For Those With Limited Hip Movement*
Perform Staff Pose sitting on a folded blanket. This raises your hips so your legs drop away from your pelvis, allowing you to sit more comfortably. This modification can also help you lengthen and straighten your spine more easily.
*For Those With Back Problems*
If back problems make this pose difficult for you, you can perform Staff Pose with your back lightly touching a wall. This will protect your back while assuming this pose. You can also choose to perform Legs Up The Wall Pose which will also protect your back and still provide the same benefits as Staff Pose.
*To Stretch The Upper Body In Staff Pose*
To stretch your upper body in this pose, interlace your fingers and then extend your arms forward, parallel to the floor. Turn your palms away from you so your thumbs are pointing toward the floor and then inhale as you raise your arms above your head until they are positioned slightly behind your ears. Be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed as you perform this variation. Stretching your upper body in Staff Pose can help open your chest and stretch the front of your abdomen.
While performing Staff Pose, you should be aware of both your upper and lower body. Your upper body should be erect, yet relaxed, and your lower body should feel strong and grounded.
Staff Pose, using the upper body variation above, is an excellent warm-up and cool-down for weight training sessions.