Staff Pose or Dandasana

51_296_296_cropHere is another pose that one may take for granted.  Much like the mountain pose, one may ask, what can be easier than sitting down?  There’s a lot of work going into this pose, much of which are subtle; from lifting of the muscles to carefully aligning your back, hips and legs.  Though simple, this can be a powerful pose that strengthens the quads and back muscles and improves core stability.


I remember having difficulty in staying in this pose for 5 breaths.  My mind wandered and I had a lot of discomfort on my back and spine.  With more practice, I began to look forward to this pose, particularly when proceeding to my seated forward bend.


Here’s the step by step instruction by Esther Ekhart:

Sit with your legs together and stretched out in front of you. If you find it hard to sit with a straight back, sit on a block or folded blanket. Place your hands next to the hips on the floor.

  • Your feet are flexed, extending out through the heels. Pull your thighs up in your hips, the top of the thighbone (femur bone) descends to the floor. Actively press your sit bones into the floor and a little to the back, to help you sit straight, your spine lengthens, the lower back arches a little forward towards your belly.
  • Open your chest by puling your shoulders back and down along the spine. The bottom of the shoulderblades curl in towards the chest. Keep your front ribs soft. Your neck is long.
  • Check that your shoulders are over the hips and your ears in line with the shoulders.
  • On an inbreath you can take your arms out and lift them overhead. If you feel your upper back rounding with your arms all the way up, lower your arms a bit so you can see them from the sides of your eyes and you can maintain the length in the upper back again.
  • Stay in this position between the 5-15 breaths, you can really feel your core working to maintain this pose.

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