How To Perform Staff pose?

(July 1, 2010)

The Staff position is one of the basic yoga positions from where many other positions are derived. It is known as the ‘Dandasana’ which literally translates to Staff or Stick position. On the face of it, the staff position is a simple and straightforward position. However, getting the position correct is more challenging than one would expect.

The steps to this position begin with sitting on the buttocks on a flat floor. The legs should be extended forward with the feet resting on the base of each foot such that the tips of the toes pointing up to the ceiling. The torso should be positioned at a 90 degree angle to the legs so that the back is completely straight. The arms should rest parallel to the body with the palms placed flat on the ground and the fingers pointing in the direction of the feet or the wall in front of you.

The second step of the pose is the challenging step which is to achieve proper balance and alignment. Many people will be sitting on the upper part of their buttocks because the lower part has been drawn forward by the legs. This imbalance should be addressed by attempting to straighten out the angle of the torso to the legs closer to 90 degrees. This adjustment should be done during an exhalation. If there is severe stiffness in the thighs, then one might have to gradually lean forward to stretch the thighs before returning the torso to the 90 degree upright position.

This position may require a guide and it may be advisable to try it against a wall. However, the wall should be completely flat and any skirting in the wall is likely to affect the pose. The absolute base of the back should be touching the wall with the shoulder blades touching the wall as well. Being upright, the rest of the back and the back of the head should not touch the walls. New students of yoga may need further assistance with this position particularly because of tightness in the thighs. This assistance can be provided in the form of a folded blanket place beneath the buttocks to raise the pelvis up a little. This will increase the angle of the legs to the torso to more than 90 degrees. One should ensure that every subsequent attempt of this pose should have less and less assistance until it is done without any assistance.

Submitted by A on July 1, 2010 at 06:23

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