Dandasana, Staff Pose

Yoga pose of the month:  Let’s study Dandasana (Staff Pose) this month.  Here are some ideas for you to consider:

  1. This pose is so much harder than we think!  Are you sure you are on top of your sit bones?  If you are really on top of your sit bones, your lower back will be in a neutral position and you will feel more ease. Sit in Virasana (Hero Pose) on a block to experience a truly neutral pelvis.  (If you tip your pelvis forward, your lower back will tighten.  If you tip it back your belly will tighten.  Find the middle spot when your pelvis is level and your lower back is in its neutral curve.)  Can you then feel that alignment in Dandasana?  Try bending your knees to find it and then hold it as you extend.
  2. Play with how flexed you are at the ankles.  Can you feel balance on the front and backs of the legs?
  3. Where should you place your hands?  How does their placement affect your shoulder alignment? (Remember, there are no right or wrong answers.  Play with what works for you.)
  4. What muscles are you using to hold the pose?  For the most effortless position, you need to use your deeper, core muscles.  Can you find those muscles?  Or are you using superficial muscles that fatigue easily (like the front of your hips and the surface muscles of the back.)
  5. To sit on a prop or not…Practice Satya (Truthfulness and integrity) in the pose.  If you have always used a blanket but don’t need it, let it go.  If you desperately wish you didn’t need it but truly are not aligned without it, it is time to be where you need to be.

If you are a teacher, challenge yourself to teach this pose in each class this month.  Add this component:  Can you find something new to teach (and learn)?