Dandasana or the Staff Pose requires the alignment of your upper body to be as straight and direct as a staff.
Begin with sitting on the ground, with your legs stretched forwards. Your torso should not be leaning back in this position. In case it is, you may sit on a folded blanket to raise your pelvis.
You can check your vertical alignment by sitting against a wall. Only your shoulder blades should be touching the wall and the back of your head and your lower back should be at some distance from it in case of a perfect vertical alignment.
The pubis and the tail bone should be equidistant from the ground. Now, by pressing down your thighs into the ground, rotate them towards each other and pull the inner groins towards your sacrum. Press out from your heels by flexing your ankles.
Imagine a flow of energy from your pubis to the sternum which is streaming upwards in your torso to increase the length of your back. After that, visualize that the length of your tail bone is increasing and gradually entering the floor.
Think of your spine as a vertical staff that controls all movements by pivoting in every action. Remain in this position for more than 1 minute.
The Staff Pose has many benefits which can felt by anyone who performs this yoga pose on a regular basis. The most common benefits are:
For newcomers to yoga, this yoga pose is usually introduced first to them. This is so because, Dandasana is the first step of many other yoga poses which are done in the sitting position. So learning this pose properly is quite important. If you have problem in grounding your thighs to the floor, you can place a few 10 pound sandbags on thigh tops. This will keep your thighs in position while you strengthen your back.
The advanced users may find the Staff Pose relatively simple and easy to execute. They may use this pose only for relaxation purposes in between of other complex poses. But it does not mean that for them this yoga pose is devoid of benefits. It will still take care of problems associated with upper back and cure sciatica.
Although this pose is very common and recommended for everyone, you may wish to consult with a yoga teacher if you have the following condition:
Relax and breathe in the fresh air deeply as you feel the Staff Pose.