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Seated staff pose (Dandasana) steps, benefits and precautions

Dandasana is a seated yoga pose which is a staple in all modern yoga classes. It helps you to build the basic body alignment for most of the seated yoga poses. It helps you to get your body ready for difficult yoga poses including twists and bends. In terms of utility, it is very similar to Tadasana which acts as the foundation for all standing poses.

Seated staff pose steps, benefits and precautions

Dandasana meaning

The name ‘Dandasana’ is composed of two Sanskrit words.

  • ‘Danda’ meaning a staff
  • ‘Asana’ meaning a pose.
Seated staff pose (Dandasana) steps, benefits and precautions

How to do the seated staff pose?

Here is the step by step guide to do the seated staff pose or dandasana.

Step one

Sit on the floor or a yoga mat with your legs straight, extended in front of you. Don’t lock your knees. You can keep them slightly bent as well.

If you have tighter hamstrings, you might need help of yoga accessories like the yoga bolster of yoga blanket in this step.

Step two

Flex both your feet and engage your thigh muscles. You can flex your toes slightly as well.

While engaging your thighs, you can press them down towards the floor. When you are doing this, you will feel them rotating slightly towards each other. Please ensure that your legs do not rotate outwards.

Step three

Place our palms flat on the floor/yoga mat next to your hips. Your fingers should be pointing in the forward direction. If required, you can bend your hands slightly depending on the length of your arms.

Ensure that your shoulders are in a straight line with your hips.

Step four

Take a deep breath and sit completely erect with your spine & neck in an elongated position. Release the shoulders so that they are away from your ears. Try and keep your weight distributed equally on your sitting bones.

Your whole upper body will be at 90 degrees to the floor with your chin parallel to the ground. 

Step five

Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths with the legs completely engaged.

While you are holding the pose, don’t round your back. For a number of new practitioners, it is beneficial to practice this pose with support initially since non-flexible hamstrings make it very difficult for them to achieve this pose easily.

Benefits of the staff pose

  1. Dandasana is the foundational seating pose which prepares the body for more difficult yoga poses and helps to set up the basic body alignment.
  2. It improves the core stability of your body.
  3. The seated staff pose also helps in strengthening your shoulders, back, stomach and chest muscles. 
  4. The pose stretches your hamstrings and calves.
  5. It also helps in relieving stress and anxiety with regular practice.

Precautions and contraindications

Anyone with back or arm injury should not practice this asana as it can aggravate the injury.

Related yoga poses to seated staff pose

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