With the help of our team of expert yoga teachers and editors, we have divided this detailed guide into four easy parts below.
Part 1: Preparation for Dandasana
Start your Staff Pose routine with leg, spine, and hip activation yoga poses.
The below asanas will increase blood circulation throughout your body, helping you perform the main pose without risk of injury.
1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose) - This pose is the foundation of all standing yoga asanas and builds strong legs. This pose will help you activate your ankles, knees, and core in preparation for Staff Pose.
To get in Mountain Pose, stand straight with both feet close to each other and keep your hands at your sides. Breathe gently and hold the pose for 1 to 5 minutes.
2. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) - This forward bending motion is an excellent way to activate your lower back and engage your core muscles. Uttanasana is an excellent way to warm up dormant hamstring muscles.
Continue from Mountain Pose by gently bending forward with your torso, slowly lowering yourself vertebrae by vertebrae. Start with an inhale, and bend as you exhale, reaching your forehead to your knees. Hold this pose for a couple of minutes before returning to Tadasana.
3. Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) - If you feel tightness in your glutes and inner thighs, this is an excellent pose for opening your hips and activating your spine.
Sit with your knees bent, and make a Namaste formation with your legs. Make sure your knees are close to the mat, and that your spine is tall. Hold your feet with your hands and maintain this pose for 3 to 5 minutes.
Part 2: Step-by-Step Instructions to Perform Dandasana
The following steps to practice the Staff or Stick Pose.
Step 1- Start by sitting in the center of your yoga mat and extend your legs forward.
Step 2- Slowly inhale to engage your core muscles and align your spine perpendicular to the mat.
Step 3- As you inhale, bring your palms close to the sides of your glutes and gently press both your palms onto the yoga mat.
Step 4- Now, as you exhale, make sure your big toes are close together and pointing toward the ceiling.
Step 5- Relax your shoulders and keep your gaze aligned straight in front of you.
Step 6- Continue to breathe as you hold this pose. Focus on contracting and expanding your abdominal muscles as you breathe.
Inhale - As you press your fingers onto the yoga mat and align your torso with a tight core.
Exhale - When you extend your legs in front of you and relax your core muscles.
Performance Duration for Beginners: Hold Dandasana for 1 minute.
Performance Duration for Advanced: Hold Dandasana for as long as you feel comfortable.
Part 3: Things to Keep in Mind
Correct alignment is essential while practicing Staff Pose, especially if you are a beginner. Here are a few cues to keep in mind for a safe and effective practice of Dandasana :
Keep your back straight: If your back is rounded or your shoulders are hunching forward, then you may not be able to feel engagement in your core muscles, and you might miss out on the therapeutic effects of this pose. So, as you inhale, your torso should be straight upright like a stick, starting from your tailbone to your crown.
Do not lock your knees: Locking your knee joints while your legs are extended in front of you is a common mistake. To avoid this, be mindful of your leg extension. Try to extend your legs by engaging your quad muscles and maintaining a minimal bend in your knees.
Part 4: Relaxing Poses After Dandasana
After sitting in the Staff Pose, your spine needs to get back into its natural curve. Below are a few counter yoga poses to relax your back muscles:
1. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend): As the name suggests, this pose involves bending your torso forward and leaning your upper body on your legs. This way you’ll be able to relax your lower back, shoulders, and scapular muscles.
To make this easier, you can place a bolster below your knees to minimize the resistance in your hamstrings and glutes for deeper relaxation.
2. Purvottanasana (Reverse Plank Pose): If your spine and lower back were extremely tense after a long practice of Staff Pose, you can follow up with the Reverse Plank Pose.
Starting in Staff pose, inhale as you engage your core even tighter, shift your upper body weight onto your palms, and lift your glutes off the mat with the strength of your arms. Stretch your tailbone toward the ceiling and maintain this hold for a few seconds.