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Dandasana: It's Not Just Sitting Around
Staff Pose Offers Great Lessons in Posture

Staff Pose

When it comes to the basic Yoga Asanas, Staff Pose (Dandasana), is probably not one of your favorites. It's just not very comfortable for most people - at least not in the beginning. Its sister pose, Mountain (Tadasana), seems easier to do - you start off by just standing there (getting the alignment down, and the balance and focus just right is not that simple, but at least you're used to standing). Corpse Pose, or Shavasana, is even easier - you just lay there (which is a good thing, actually, because completely relaxing the body and mind takes a lot of effort). But Dandasana just does not exist in normal, everyday life - who in their right mind would ever sit that way to watch television (that is, unless you were practicing Yoga at the same time)? It feels awkward and it brings out just about every flaw your body may have when it comes to alignment. Your legs won't straighten, your back wants desperately to slump, your hips just feel wrong. You probably already realize that the same reasons you don't like Dandasana are why it is important to practice this pose.

(Article continued below.)

If you really work at Dandasana, it will help your sitting posture throughout the day and you will take a lot of strain off your back - this is invaluable if you spend most of your day at a desk.

In addition to strengthening the back, Dandasana also stretches out your hamstrings, feet and even toes. Dandasana is also the starting point for all the sitting Asanas - Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana), Head to Knee Pose (Janu Shirshasana) and Spinal Twist (Bharadvajasana), to name only a few. Slack off with Dandasana, and you'll never truly master the sitting poses. On the other hand, a solid Dandasana forms a firm foundation for your practice, and makes the sitting poses work more effectively. So what are you waiting for? Have a seat!

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