Recently I got some great feedback on my 5 tips for Downward Facing dog video. And, it got me thinking that I need to do similar content. In this post I want to share how to do Dandasana, staff pose.
I also want to share some staff pose variations/modifications. Because we’re all dealing with our own body limitations. I know I am! As I know some of us learn better with audio and visual I created a video.
Don’t forget if you enjoy the video to smash the thumbs up. Subscribe if you’re not already. And let me know in the comments what other poses you’d like to see broken down for beginners.
How to do Dandasana
So Dandasana is a seated yoga pose. Sit down on the floor with the legs extended. Turn the toes upwards to face the ceiling. Feel the sit bones root down into the floor, and grow the spine long. Crown of the head extending up.
The arms can lengthen down by the sides, palms resting on the floor. You’ll discover why my hands aren’t on the floor later in the post.
So the first thing I want to point out is in the “traditional” version of this pose the legs are superglued together. Inner thighs touching. However, for many this just isn’t comfortable. Quick fix: separate the legs.
By allowing ourselves a little room between the feet we offer a wider base of support. Giving us more stability in the pose.
Use a wall for feedback
One very valuable variation is using a wall for some feedback. Where is the pelvis in relationship to the wall/floor? Do the shoulder blades connect to the wall? What’s the connection of the legs to the floor.
By using the wall we offer the body tactile feedback of being in this L-shape with the body. Notice your limitations. What connects, what feels “icky”? Is there connection of the sit bones to the floor? While keeping the shouldrs and back of the pelvis to the wall? When thinking about how to do dandasana notice this L-shape, and the connection to the wall.
Legs won’t go straight?
By far the most common thing I see is people tucking the tailbone and rounding the back. Slouching if you will. I’m gonna let you into a little yoga secret about straight legged poses…
The legs don’t HAVE to be straight! I know. I just blew your mind. However, if you can’t straighten the legs I’d suggest supporting them. Take a rolled up blanket and place it underneath the knees.
This tip also works for any seated pose with the legs extended in front. Seriously, maybe it’s time to stop forcing and start easing into a more supported yoga pose.
Arms too short for dandasana
Well now we get into MY issue. If I’m lengthening through the torso my palms won’t touch the floor. My arms are too short for dandasana. You can see in the photo below, my palms are a good 2-3″ away from the floor.
How to do dandasana with short arms? Option 1: Bring the floor up to you. Support the hands with blocks. Or just throw tradition to the wind and bridge the fingers to the floor instead of the palms.
Nothing I can do will alter the structure of my arms and torso. The length is fixed. My palms are NEVER going to touch the floor in this pose. Sometimes you just have to modify.
All the variations of Dandasana
Of course to really settle into the pose, try all the variations at once! Here I’m against the wall with feet separated. My knees are bent and supported, with my hands elevated on blocks.
It’s ok to need a bunch of support in a yoga pose. It is not cheating. It’s allowing your body to feel comfort and ease during the practice.
- Which variation of staff pose looks comfiest to you?
- What poses do you struggle with in yoga?
- How long are your arms? Try sitting and putting palms on the floor!