Dandasana – The Staff Pose

DandasanaDandasana – The Staff Pose

What is Dandasana?

In Dandasana, the word ‘Danda’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘Stick ‘and ‘asana’ meaning ‘posture’. It is also known as Staff Pose. It teaches you to sit with correct posture. Your upper body should be erect but relaxed and the lower body should be firmly on ground.

The name of the pose Dandasana comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Dand’ meaning stick, thus the Staff Pose. A preparatory pose, while in Dandasana the body is taught like a stick, it affords great relaxing stretch to the legs and calf-muscles, preventing pain in the feet.
Anatomically the asana focuses on the upper back, strengthening its muscles, and is believed to have therapeutic effects for sciatica even as it improves digestion.
Caution: do not perform this pose if you have injury of the lower back.

Here’s a step by step guide for Dandasana:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front, together.
  2. Keep back straight. If you are having problems achieving this position then perform the asana sitting against a wall with only the upper back touching the wall. Sit with the balance of weight being on the front sitting bones, not back.
  3. With hands down by the hips, palms pressing against the floor, firm the thighs, press them down against the floor and swing them slightly together from side to side. As you do this do not harden the abdomen.
  4. Pull the groin in as if into the sacrum; flex your ankles and press them through the heels.
  5. Lengthen your back imagining a stream of energy running up from the pubis
  6. Visualize your spine as a “staff” shooting up from the earth which is your pivot.
  7. Hold the pose for a minute.

Dandasana Steps

1. Sit on the floor with back straight and legs extended out in front of you. Your legs and feet should be hip width apart and parallel.

2. Press the sitting bones on the floor and point the crown of your head to the ceiling to lengthen and straighten the spine.

3. Keep your palms on the floor adjacent to your hips for supporting your spine and relaxing your shoulders down. Keep your torso straight but relaxed.

4. Keep your lower half firmly on the floor by relaxing the legs.

5. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds and then release.

Dandasana Benefits

1. It improves posture.

2. Brings a sense of calmness to body and mind.

3. Increases the flexibility of hips and pelvis.

4. It strengthens the back muscles.

5. It lengthens and stretches the spine.

6. May help in relieving complications related to reproductive organs.

7. It stretches shoulders and chest.

8. It may improve the functionality of digestive organs.

9. It helps in improving alignment of the body.

10. It creates body awareness.

Dandasana Dos and Don’ts

Don’t do this asana if you suffer from lower back injuries or you have chronic back problems such as slipped disc. Make your feet slightly apart if you feel slightly unstable with your feet together.