Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing and teaching yoga for life.

Staff Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions


This "straightforward" Staff Pose can be more challenging than it looks. Also known as Dandasana, this posture will give you the strength to improve your posture and tackle every other sitting pose with ease.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits

Dandasana

(Pronounced as "done-DAHS-anna")

In Sanskrit, danda means "staff" or "walking stick."

How to do Staff Pose

Step One

Sit down on your yoga mat and stretch both of your legs straight out in front of you. Shift your weight onto your left buttock as you reach underneath your right buttock and pull the flesh out to the right side, holding it out as you sit your right buttock back down. Now you will feel your right sitting bone pressing firmly into the floor. Do the same with the left buttock so that you are balanced directly on top of your sitting bones.

Step Two

Hold your thighs, knees, ankles and feet together. Press both of your palms down into the mat next to the sides of your hips. Your fingers should spread apart and point forward. Your thumbs should almost touch the outer edges of your hips. Use the pressing of your hands into the floor to help you lift your chest straight up. Straighten your arms and sit up so that your entire spine is in a straight line.

Step Three

Press your thighs down into the mat and lift your waist to hold your torso up. Here your torso should form a 90-degree angle with your legs.

If you find it difficult to sit up, then place a blanket or bolster underneath your sitting bones to increase the height of your pelvis. You can also sit with a wall behind you and see that your sacrum and shoulder blades are the only parts of your back that make contact with the wall. You can place a rolled blanket in between your lower back and the wall if you need more support to get this proper alignment.

Step Four

Extend your heels forward and let the tips of your toes point directly up toward the ceiling. While you should contract the abdomen somewhat to keep it active, do not harden your diaphragm. Lift up and expand your rib cage. Visualize lengthening the bottom of your spine down into the floor.

Step Five

Breathe normally. Stay in this posture for 20 seconds in the beginning. Later on when you are comfortable with it, you can hold it for a minute or more.

Beginner's Tip:

Place a sandbag across the top of each of your thighs right at the root of the thigh. This added weight will assist you in anchoring your hips properly. If you don't feel any strain, then you can increase the weight by adding up to three large sandbags on top of each hip crease.

Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:

Dandasana

Pose Level:

Level 1

Contraindications and Cautions:

  • Severe injuries in the wrists or lower back
  • For chronic breathing problems: Practice this posture with your back against a wall for extra support.

Benefits

  • Builds strength in the lower back and abdomen
  • Helps to expand and strengthen your chest and shoulders
  • Stretches the legs
  • Improves digestion
  • Makes breathing easier by correcting your sitting posture

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Beginner Yoga Poses

Bharadvaja's Twist Pose
Big Toe Pose
Boat Pose
Bound Angle Pose
Bow Pose
Bridge Pose
Camel Pose
Cat Pose
Chair Pose
Child's Pose
Cobra Pose
Corpse Pose
Cow Pose
Cow Face Pose
Crow Pose
Dolphin Plank Pose
Downward Dog Pose
Eagle Pose
Eight Angle Pose
Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
Extended Puppy Pose
Extended Side Angle Pose
Firefly Pose
Fish Pose
Garland Pose
Half Frog Pose
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Half Moon Pose
Yoga Handstand
Happy Baby Pose
Head To Knee Pose
High Lunge Pose
Legs Up The Wall Pose
Locust Pose
Lotus Pose
Shoulder Pressing Pose
Low Lunge Pose
Monkey Pose
Mountain Pose
Noose Pose
Plank Pose
Plow Pose
Sage Koundinya I Pose
Sage Marichi's Pose
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
Revolved Triangle Pose
Revolved Head to Knee Pose
Reclining Hero Pose
Scale Pose
Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose
Peacock Pose
Pyramid Pose
Crescent Lunge Pose
Heron Pose
Hero Pose
Feathered Peacock Pose
Staff Pose
Seated Forward Bend Pose
Four Limbed Staff Pose
Revolved Side Angle Pose
Wild Thing Pose
Side Crow Pose
Side Plank Pose
Sphinx Pose
Supported Headstand (Sirsasana)
Tree Pose
Standing Split
Supported Shoulderstand
Standing Half Forward Bend
Triangle Pose
Upward Plank Pose
Upward Facing Two Foot Staff Pose
Wheel Pose
Upward Salute Pose
Upward Facing Dog Pose
Warrior I Pose
Warrior II Pose
Warrior III Pose
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
Easy Pose
Gate Pose
Wide Legged Forward Fold
Dancer Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II
Marichi's Pose
Fire Log Pose
Standing Forward Bend
Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II

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