Staff Pose

Sarah Noel
Written by
Sarah Noel

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.

Staff yoga pose
Staff yoga pose
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(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:

Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:


Pose Level:

Level 1

Contraindications and Cautions:

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  • Severe injuries in the wrists or lower back

  • For chronic breathing problems: Practice this posture with your back against a wall for extra support.


  • 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