Staff Pose - Dandasana

Staff Pose - YanvaYoga


Staff pose, or Dandasana (“Danda-” meaning staff, “-asana” meaning pose), is an upright seated position that allows for the opening of the hamstrings, while simultaneously strengthening the back muscles. With modifications, it is accessible to complete beginners and people with mobility issues.

Pose Detail

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Sit with your legs together and stretched out in front of you. Place your hands next to your hips on the floor.
Step 2
Flex your feet and extend out through the heels. Engage your thighs and actively press your sitting bones down.
Step 3
Draw your lower belly in and up.
Step 4
Slide your shoulder blades back and down along your spine. Bring the bottom of your shoulder blades towards each other, collar bones spread.
Step 5
Bring your chin slightly back and down and keep the base of your neck soft.
Step 6
Stay in this pose for 5 to 15 breaths. Keep engaging your abdominal muscles to maintain this pose.

Benefits and Contraindications


Stretches hamstrings, calves, heels, arms, and shoulders

Relieves lower back tension

Strengthens back muscles

Improves posture


Low back injury

Wrist injury

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props & Tips

Try to keep the natural curves of your spine:

  • Notice if your lower back is rounding out, engage the abdominal muscles to maintain length in the spine.
  • Conversely try to avoid over-arching the lower back and lifting the chest too much. Think about bringing the lower ribs towards each other so they are not flaring out.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Sit against a wall. Gently press the lower back, shoulders, and back of the head against the wall. Stay in the pose for several breaths.

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.