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Yoga Poses: Staff Pose (Dandasana)

Fitness, Resources, Yoga

Yoga Poses: Staff Pose (Dandasana)


Perfecting Staff pose (Dandasana) a.k.a stick pose is essential as it lays foundation for all seated postures, be it torso twists of forward bends. It is also great for checking and correcting one’s seated alignment.

It is basically the “Sit tall” kind of a yoga pose.

Health Benefits

Apart from being a tremendous help in correcting seated alignment, the pose is ideal for preparing chair yoga, relieving symptoms of sciatica and strengthening shoulders and back. Staff pose stretches the hamstrings and relaxes feet and toes.

It is a good pose to strengthen core and hip muscles too while deepening focus and activating the torso chakras of the body.

Getting into pose


What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Initial Position: Sitting

Drishti or Gaze: While performing this pose, concentrate your gaze forwards


  1. Sit on your mat and stretch out your legs together in front. Keep your feet at the right angles to the floor with toes pointing straight up the sky. Now, take a deep breath.
  2. Keeping arms on sides, place palms on the mat, fingers pointing forward.
  3. Dig your palms deep into the mat and push the floor down while stretching your body upwards. Exhale now. Remember to keep your gaze forward and do not lift your chin up.
  4. Sit in this position for 10-15 minutes initially and practice abdominal breathing. As your body gets comfortable, Dandasana will become the initial pose for all your seated postures.
  5. Check your alignment of back, shoulders, arms, knees and toes.
  6. Checking the back alignment: Sit with your back against the wall and note which parts of your back touch the wall. Ideally, it should be your back (tail bone) and shoulder blades.
  7. Correcting the back alignment: Put a small cushion at the lower curve of back or a rolled towel between the shoulder blades to avoid discomfort.

Other variations

  • Chaturanga Dandasana: Though the two poses share a name, Chaturanga Dandasana is a completely different pose performed on balancing the body weight on all four extremities – hands and feet. And hence, calls for a separate article.

Beginner Tips

If you find your knees bending upwards, try putting some weights on them (10 pound sand or water bag). Also, one can begin by keeping legs a few inches apart and then try keeping them together. Sometimes, sitting on a soft wedge or a raised platform (about 6 inches) helps in getting comfortable with the pose.

If keeping a straight back is an issue, use the props mentioned previously in “correcting the alignment”.

Additionally, you can place your palms and heels on small folded towels for cushioning and avoiding discomfort, if performing it. on floor or a rough yoga mat

Advanced poses

  • All seated poses (torso twists and forward bends)

Important Notes

  • The pose can be performed by anyone, but those lower back injuries should not do it without checking it with their physician.
  • Those with wrist pain, should keep the palms in the thighs and not on the floor.

Further reading

  1. Yoga Lingo for Dummies
  2. How to Find the Right Yoga Teacher

Last Updated: May 12, 2014

Next Scheduled Update: July 12, 2014

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