This week's pose is staff pose also known as dandasana. At first glance this pose looks fairly easy. When you actually approach the pose and work on alignment you then realize there is more than meets the eye. I have to admit there was a period of time I approached it minimally and could not see the value in the pose. When I worked on proper muscle engagement, alignment, and breath it changed how it felt and no longer was dismissive of the pose.
Dandasana is the foundational posture for seated poses. You can see it as seated mountain pose. It builds up strength for the upper back, chest and abdomen.
- Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. If your hamstrings are tight, sit on a bolster or blanket so your torso can be upright and vertical. You can also sit with your back against a wall with your shoulder blades touching it, leaving a space between the wall and your low back.
- Sit forward on your sit bones and draw your thighs to the floor. Flex your feet and press out through your heels. Keep your big toes, inner heels, and inner knees together.
- Strongly engage your thigh muscles around your thigh bones, and activate the muscles surrounding your knee caps. Press your thigh bones firmly down into the floor. Make sure your legs do not rotate outward.
- Stretch your heels away from your body and tilt your pelvis slightly forward, extending the distance between your heel bones and sit bones.
- Do not collapse your low back. Work to lift your torso up from the base of your pelvis. Keep your weight evenly distributed across both sit bones.
- Place your hands on the floor alongside your hips, pressing through your palms with your fingers pointing forward.
- Broaden across your collarbones and lift your chest. Then, broaden across your shoulders. Draw your belly button in toward your spine. Anchor your body through your tailbone and sit tall.
- Keep your torso perpendicular to the floor, and lift the crown of your head to the ceiling. Keep your chin parallel to the floor and gaze steadily straight ahead, toward the horizon. Hold for up to one minute.
- Strengthens the back muscles
- Stretches the shoulders and chest
- Improves posture