Just as Tadasana is the foundation of all the standing yoga poses,Dandasana or Staff Pose is the foundation of all the Seated Yoga Poses.
Dandasana is a simple seated pose that strengthens the deep muscles of the lower back, abdomen and pelvis. This improves the overall posture and builds a solid foundation for the healthy alignment of the rest of the spine. Improved posture helps prevent the overworking or overstretching of any one muscle group and contributes to stability and comfort in all other activities. On the other hand poor posture results in serious problems like strain and joint pain.
However the key element of staff pose is to cultivate awareness of the spine alignment from the tailbone all the way to the crown of the head and to use the strength developed by the practice to transform your habitual posture.
Benefits of Dandasana:
- Strengthens the back muscles.
- Stretches the shoulders and chest.
- Improves posture.
- Lengthens the spine.
- Helps to calm brain cells.
- Creates body awareness.
- Improves functionality of digestive organs.
- Provides the mild stretch for hamstrings.
Contraindications and cautions:
- Wrist injury.
- Lower Back injury.
How to do Staff Pose Step By Step Instructions:
- Sit on the floor with your legs together, straight out in front with back erect.
- Place your hands next to your hips on the floor.
- Flex your feet and extend out through the heels. Engage your thighs and actively press your sitting bones down.
- Draw your lower belly in and up.
- Slide your shoulder blades back and down along your spine.
- Bring the bottom of your shoulder blades towards each other, collar bones spread.
- Bring your chin slightly back and down and keep the base of your neck soft.
- Stay in the pose for 5 to 15 breaths.
- Keep engaging your abdominal muscles to maintain this pose.
- Sit up on a block or folded blanket.
- Use as many props as you can sit for the extended time with back erect.
- If you find keeping both legs together uncomfortable – you can spread your feet to about hips distance apart.
- Keep the knees soft and slightly bent if you feel too much sensation in your hamstrings.
- Easy Pose Sukhasana
Follow Up Poses:
- Happy Baby Pose.
- Seated Forward Bend Pose.
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Yoga asana is the third limb of the eight- limbed path outlined in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali- a seminal yogic text.
The eight limbs are as follows.
- Yamas and Niyamas ( Moral and ethical codes.
- Asanas ( Postures)
- Pranayama ( Breathwork)
- Pratyahara ( withdrawal of the senses)
- Dharana ( concentration)
- Dhyana ( Meditation )
- Samadhi ( spiritual absorption)
Practice of these yoga sutras shouldn’t be painful.
If you are experiencing an excess of emotional and / or physical discomfort during your practice – either come out of the pose you’re doing or ask your teacher on how you can adjust and go with the flow which suits your body taking into consideration any contraindications or injuries.
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