Roll out a mat and sit on it, or take a spot on the ground. Extend your legs straight out in front of your body with your thighs as flat on the floor as possible. If it is difficult to keep your spine stacked vertically, try sitting with your back against a wall for straight posture. The sacrum and the shoulder blades should touch the wall, but not the lower back or back of the head. If your head is touching the wall, you are slouching!
Use your hands to pull the flesh of your buttocks back and out of the way of your sitting bones so you can sit more directly on them. To make this posture more comfortable, you may fold a blanket under yourself or sit on a block. Rest your arms alongside the body with palms on the floor. Warm up your leg muscles by pressing your heels into the floor, but avoid locking your knees. Firm the thighs and rotate them gently towards each other, keeping the feet flexed.
Gradually lift your chest and drop your shoulder blades down towards your back. Inhale slowly throughout this entire process and keep your chin at a slightly lowered position. Imagine your spine as the “staff” in this pose, rooted firmly in the earth. Do not flex your abdominal muscles, but make a conscious effort to pin your thighs down. Hold this position for a minute or two.
This can be difficult holding your body in such away and wouldn’t recommend starting this pose at the beginning of the class.
Looking at what muscles are needed in Dandasana
Spinal Extensors and Flexors
Pectineues, adducetor Magnus
These muscles will aid and support one another within the asana and to explore the shoulders, the spine and defiantly the hamstrings.
Preparation Asanas :
Twists will soften the back muscles
Lengthening the hamstrings mindfully with a belt , Adho mukha śvānāsana, trikonasana, virabhadrasana iii , Uttanasana, surya namaskars
Exploring with blocks, chairs , walls even partners. The most important exploration is within the self and knowing how we move , where we need to soften and let go of what we are holding on to.
Breathe can be useful as we know when we practise asana. For this asana I would suggest the action of the expanding the cage on the inhalation and applying the bandhas on the exhalation
Reaching the full asana may take time. As mentioned above the use of a block or a blanket under the knees for support
Back bends and twist
The Benefits of Staff Pose:
• Helps improve posture
• Strengthens back muscles
• Lengthens and stretches the spine
• May help to relieve complications related to the reproductive organs
• Stretches shoulders and chest
• Nourishes your body’s resistance to back and hip injuries
• Helps to calm brain cells
• May improve functionality of the digestive organs
• Creates body awareness
• Helps improve alignment of body
• Provides a mild stretch for hamstrings
Danda or stick also represents the recognition of a good teacher . The yoga tradition has always placed a lot on the importance of a teacher who can helps us to apply the teaching traditions to our life. It is about the relationship with others, about the gratitude for having received this wonderful practise and philosophy, which can help us transform our lives in ways we may never have dreamed.