Steps to do Dandasana or the Staff Pose & its Benefits
Dandasana like other yogasanas is derived from a Sanskrit name where "Danda" means "Stick" and "Asana" means "Pose" or "Posture".
Dandasana is also called Staff pose as it teaches you to sit down in correct posture. It is also called Stick Pose because of the shape body assumes when in final position.
Dandasana or The Staff Pose is the foundational posture for all seated poses, including twists. In this pose you have to keep you legs straight. Regular practice of Dandasana or The Staff Pose makes your back and hips supple and strengthen your pelvis.
Dandasana or The Staff Pose is the simplest and basic asanas to perform for all age groups. But there is a catch. It gets difficult to hold the pose for longer time as you have to keep your back straight in this pose and your legs should be touching the ground while holding Dandasana or The Staff Pose.
Like other asanas it is considered best when Dandasana or The Staff Pose is practiced early in the morning. However, if because of some reason, you are not able to practice it in the morning, you can practice Dandasana or The Staff Pose in the evening as well. Mornings are preferred as the food is digested and your body has energy to perform the asanas. But make sure that when you are practicing Dandasana or The Staff Pose in the evening, you should have your food five to six hours before you practice as your food takes this much time to digest.
Steps To Do Dandasana Or The Staff Pose
- To practice Dandasana or The Staff Pose, sit straight with your legs outstretched on the floor or on Yoga mat.
- In case you have tight hamstrings, you can sit on a cushion or blanket so that your torso can be upright and vertical.
- You can also sit with your back against a wall in such a way that your shoulder blades are touching the wall while leaving a little space between the wall and your lower back.
- Press your buttocks on the floor, and align your head in such a way that the crown faces the ceiling while practicing Dandasana or The Staff Pose.
- Also, bring your thighs to touch the floor. At the same point, press out through your heel.
- Press your thigh bones firmly down into the floor. Make sure your legs do not rotate outward while practicing Dandasana or The Staff Pose.
- Place your palms next to your hips on the floor.
- Doing this will support your spine and also relax your shoulders.
- While practicing Dandasana or The Staff Pose your torso must be straight and relaxed.
- While practicing Dandasana or The Staff Pose, relax your legs, and press your legs firmly to the floor.
- Broaden across your shoulders and lift your chest. Also, draw your navel in toward your spine.
- In the final position, your torso should be perpendicular to the floor and your crown should be towards the ceiling.
- Always try to keep your chin parallel to the floor and close your eyes and focus on the center of the eyes.
- Stay in this position for 3-4 minutes or for as longer as you can.
- Practice Dandasana or The Staff Pose for as long as you can. Stop when you feel discomfort in your legs or spine.
- Release the pse by lying in relaxation asanas like Shavasana for one to two minutes.
Breathing Pattern To Be Followed While Practicing Dandasana Or The Staff Pose
- Inhale deeply while stretching you legs.
- Exhale deeply while broadening the shoulders and opening the chest.
- Maintain normal breathing while holding the final position of Dandasana or The Staff Pose. Keep inhaling and exhaling deeply with closed eyes for maximum benefits.
- Exhale deeply after releasing the pose.
Preparatory And Follow-Up Asanas For Dandasana Or The Staff Pose
PREPARATORY POSES. The various preparatory poses for Dandasana or The Staff Pose are Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward facing dog and Uttanasana or The Standing Forward Bend.
FOLLOW-UP POSES. The various follow-up asanas for Dandasana or The Staff Pose are Purvottanasana or The Upward Plank Pose and Bharadvajasana I or The Bharadvaja's Twist.
Benefits Of Practicing Dandasana Or The Staff Pose
- Dandasana or The Staff Pose is very helpful in improving the posture.
- It stretches the entire body and helps in increasing the flexibility and strengthens the hips and pelvis.
- Like the name suggests, Dandasana or The Staff Pose teaches you the way to sit properly.
- Dandasana or The Staff Pose helps in strengthening your abdomen, chest, shoulder and back muscles.
- Dandasana or The Staff Pose massages the abdominal organs and stimulates the digestive system which in return improves digestion.
- Dandasana or The Staff Pose helps in balancing the mind, increases the power of concentration, allows more awareness of the unconscious realms and induces physical and mental relaxation quickly. The thinking process becomes very clear and precise with regular practice of Dandasana or The Staff Pose.
- Dandasana or The Staff Pose also helps in alleviating stress and curing mild depression.
- Dandasana or The Staff Pose helps in strengthening all the core muscles of the body.
- It also helps in increasing the strength and stamina of the body.
- Dandasana or The Staff Pose also helps in increasing the body's resistance to back, hip and leg injuries.
- Dandasana or The Staff Pose helps in lengthening and strengthening of the spine.
- With regular practice and following proper breathing pattern, Dandasana or The Staff Pose helps in curing Respiratory ailments like Asthma.
- It also helps in curing back ailments like Sciatica with regular practice.
- Dandasana or The Staff Pose also helps in improving concentration.
Precautions And Contraindications While Practicing Dandasana Or The Staff Pose
- People suffering from chronic spinal problems should not practice Dandasana or The Staff Pose.
- It is most beneficial when you stay aware of the stretches in the muscles while holding the pose. So, always remain aware while you are practicing Dandasana or The Staff Pose.
- Get out of the pose or release the pose if you feel a sudden sharp and shooting pain in your legs.
- If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing Supta Virasana or Reclining Hero pose and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
- Do not over exert yourself while practicing Supta Virasana or Reclining Hero pose. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
Tips While Practicing Dandasana Or The Staff Pose
- You can sit on a blanket to stop the stiffening of the hips still as preventing the rounding error of lower back and alignment of spine while practicing Dandasana is also called Staff pose.
- Also, you can use the wall for supporting your back initially, if you've got chronic back issues or if it is difficult for you to hold the pose for a long time.
- While practicing Dandasana or The Staff Pose, your torso or the body should be erect and relaxed whereas the lower portion should be grounded.
- You can also modify the asana for more benefits in the following way:
- While in the final position of Dandasana or The Staff Pose, interlace your fingers and stretch your arms forward
- Make sure that your arms are straight in this position. Your palms should be facing away from your body and thumbs of both hands should be facing downwards.
- Now, bring your arms up till they reach a little behind your ears.
- This variation of Dandasana or The Staff Pose is very helpful in opening up the chest and also stretches the abdomen.
- People with very tight Hamstrings will find it very difficult to get into Dandasana as the hamstrings tens to pull the pelvis and curve your back. To overcome this, you can use a cushion and sit on its forward edge to support the hamstrings.
- Do not flex your abdominal muscles while practicing Dandasana or The Staff Pose.
- While practicing Dandasana or The Staff Pose, keep your weight balanced equally on both the hips. Keep shifting your hips from side to side once you are in the final position.
- People suffering from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome should practice Dandasana with the fingers of their hands pointing towards the back. This will help in opening the upper arms and eventually helps in getting rid of the disease.