Dandasana or Staff Pose is an asana. Sanskrit: दण्डासन; Danda – Stick, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As: dahn-dah-sah-nah
This asana is named after the Sanskrit term Danda that means stick and asana that means posture. Dandasana is an exercise that will help your body prepare itself for the more intense poses. It also increases your ability to work on aligning your body perfectly.
Everything You Need To Know About The Dandasana
- What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
- How To Do The Dandasana
- Precautions And Contraindications
- Beginner’s Tips
- Advanced Pose Alterations
- Benefits Of The Staff Pose
- The Science Behind The Dandasana
- Preparatory Poses
- Follow-Up Poses
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana is a sort of warm-up pose for the deeper yoga poses. You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this asana. Make sure you have your meals at least four to six hours before you do the asana so that your food gets digested, and there is enough energy for you to expend during the practice.
It is best to practice yoga in the morning. But in the event if you cannot work out in the morning, it is alright to practice it in the evening.
Duration: 20 to 30 seconds
Stretches: Shoulders, Thorax
How To Do Dandasana
- Sit erect on the ground, with your back straightened and your legs stretched out in front of you. Your legs must be parallel to each other, and feet should be pointed upwards.
- Press your buttocks on the floor, and align your head in such a way that the crown faces the ceiling. This will automatically straighten and lengthen your spine.
- Flex your feet and press your heels.
- Place your palms next to your hips on the floor. This will support your spine and also relax your shoulders. Your torso must be straight, but relaxed.
- Relax your legs, and ground the lower half of your body firmly to the floor.
- Breathe normally, and hold the pose for about 20 to 30 seconds.
Precautions And Contraindications
These are some points of caution you must keep in mind before you practice this asana.
- It is best to avoid this asana if you have a lower back or a wrist injury.
- Although this is a fairly simple pose, it is best to do it under the supervision of a yoga instructor. When you practice yoga, remember to listen to your body and push only as much as it can endure.
These are a few tips you must keep in mind to get the basic pose right.
- Your weight must be well balanced between your buttocks. You must move your hips from one side to another once you are in the pose. When you feel the weight is balanced out, make sure that the pubic bone and the tailbone are at equal distance from the floor.
- It is best to start working this Dandasana yoga pose from your feet up. You must draw the base of the big toes forward, and then align your heels, feet, and toes. Focus on your ankles. As you work your heels, ground your thighs and calves. Then, seek alignment in the belly, tailbone, and pelvis as you reach up to your arms, shoulders, collarbone, and neck. Finally, move to align the crown of the head. Remember, the hips, shoulders, and ears must always be in one line.
Advanced Pose Alterations
The Dandasana is the foundation for all other twists and seated poses, so it is important you get it right. These are some variations that will imbibe the right alignment and help you, no matter your shortcomings.
- If your hamstrings are tight, and you find it difficult to sit with your legs stretched out, fold a blanket and place it underneath your buttocks. This will remove the tension from your legs and hips and make it easier to sit straight.
- If your abdomen and upper back are weak, use the support of a wall when you do this asana. Then, as you gain strength, move away from the wall gradually, and make sure your spine is erect as you graduate.
- For people with long arms, it is alright to bend your arms gently at your elbows if you can’t straighten them fully. Just remember to keep your palms flat on the floor and release your shoulder blades down to your back.
- In case you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or have tight wrists and forearms, it is advisable to keep your fingers pointing behind you. Just place your palms on the floor and rotate your arms such that your fingers point towards your back. This variation will ensure your upper arm and chest muscles are opened up.
Benefits Of The Staff Pose
These are some amazing benefits of Dandasana.
- This asana helps to strengthen the muscles on your back.
- It also helps to stretch the chest and the shoulders.
- With regular practice of this asana, your posture is sure to be improved.
- The abdomen is stretched and strengthened as well.
- It is known to cure sciatica and asthma.
- This asana helps to focus and calm the mind. When paired with proper breathing, it relieves stress and helps enhance concentration.
The Science Behind The Dandasana
However easy this pose might look, it is quite an intense, strength-building exercise for the chest, abdomen, and upper back.
This pose is the foundation for all seated poses as it gives the basic structure for them all. If you look closely, it is the seated version of the Tadasana or Mountain Pose.
They say “big things come in small packages”. This asana is short and simple, but only time will unfold the amazing things that it will do to your body.
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