An Easy Guide to Dandasana, or Staff Pose
Dandasana, or Staff Pose, is a beginners’ pose that’s great for digestive issues, such as IBS, because it stimulates the abdomen. It’s also a calming and relaxing pose, so it’s great for relaxing at the end of the day, and for meditation.
We just wish we'd listened to our teachers when we were kids - turned out they were right; there's a lot to be said for sitting up straight - Staff Pose will improve your posture, strengthen your core and create feelings of calm.
Watch a clip for this yoga pose
How to do Dandasana, or Staff Pose, in easy steps
Start by sitting with legs extended in front of you. Remove the flesh away from your sit bones. Sitting on a blanket or block can provide extra lift.
Press the sit bones into the floor or block. Reach up through the crown of the head to create length in the spine.
Engage the legs by drawing the thigh bones towards the hips, lifting the knee caps, pressing them into the floor.
Flex the feet and push out through your heels and the balls of your feet.
The hands rest on the mat next to your hips, with the palms gently pressing into the floor.
Create space and length in the sides of the body. Shoulders are rolling backwards, and shoulder blades move down the back.
Gaze softly in front of you.
Remain in the pose for a minute or more, breathing normally.
Yoga pose category: Seated and twists
Although Dandasana is a beginners’ pose, it can be difficult to place both hands comfortably on the ground, as this requires a lot of stretch. Try placing two yoga blocks underneath the palms of your hands, so that your hands are lifted, minimising the stretch. Alternatively, place two weights on the thighs to help ground the legs fully, and help you hold the pose for longer.
Sanskrit words meaning:
Danda - staff
Asana - pose
Yoga pose health benefits:
Like all yoga poses, Dandasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:
Yoga pose contraindications:
Don’t practice Dandasana if you have any of the following health conditions:
Lower back injury
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is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.