Dandasana or staff pose provides a blueprint for many seated postures. A deceptively simple pose this poses places your “feet” or seat of the asana as your sitz bones (or sitting bones). Finding this grounding with the legs extended stretches the hamstrings and supports grounded sitting whether on the floor or in your chair at work.
One fun way to play with poses is to think about keeping a similar “shape” and changing the relationship to the ground and with gravity. Here are two different ways to find “Dandasana.”
Before you start, sit on the floor rocking from side to side, and front and back to find the sitting bones, almost like a rocking chair base these are the foundation of the pose.
Laying on your back, put your feet on the ground hip width distance apart, roll your spin up and put a block, pillow, or bolster (at home this could be a rolled up yoga mat) under your low back/sacrum. Slowly bring one leg up, then the other, so your body makes a slight L or V shape. Your feet are facing towards the ceiling, knees might have a soft bend in them. In this position, you’re back is stabilized against the ground, and your legs are perhaps finding a stretch along the backs in the hamstring muscle groups.
For the most “traditional” version of Dandasana, start sitting up on a folded blanket, pillow, or bolster. Put your legs in front of you, knees bent to begin, place your hands on your hips and tilt your hips forward. Place your hands by your sides, push down into blocks or the floor, and lift both sides of your ribs up. Picture a hose of water running up the center of your body. Then, lengthen your legs while maintaining the length in your spine.
Lovely visualizations to use in this post are length on both sides of the waist, growing roots down from your sitting bones, and feeling length up the front of the body and down the back of the body. An excellent pose to do at the beginning of a practice or at the end of the day.