Upward Standing Staff Pose - Urdhva Dandasana


Upward Standing Staff Pose or Urdhva Dandasana is a yoga pose that is also known as Upward Facing Staff Pose. It is a challenging pose that requires strength and stability in the arms, shoulders, and core.
Urdhva Dandasana is a challenging pose that can help to build strength in the arms, shoulders, and core. It can also help to improve posture and increase overall body awareness.
Engaging the core muscles (pulling the belly in), shoulders and arms, chest and diaphragm, along with the pelvis, the students can take their practice to the next level with Urdhva Dandasana (Upward Standing Staff Pose).
Urdhva Dandasana helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin in Balasana or Child's Pose.
Step 2
Ensure there is a safe distance between your elbows. Lift your head and align your elbows perpendicular to your shoulders.
Step 3
Interlace your fingers, creating a secure base for your head.
Step 4
Place the crown of your head on the floor and rest the back of your head against your interlocked fingers.
Step 5
Lift your knees off the floor.
Step 6
Gradually straighten your back by slowly walking your toes toward your face.
Step 7
Slowly bend your knees, bringing your heels closer to your sitting bones. Point your toes toward the ceiling.
Step 8
Inhale deeply and straighten your knees, ensuring your body forms a straight line.
Step 9
Maintain this pose for a few breaths, allowing yourself to settle into the posture.

Benefits and Contraindications


Massages internal organs and improves digestion

Stimulating to the heart and circulation

Improves balance

Slows down ageing

Strengthens the arms, legs, and spine



High or low blood pressure

Heart problems

Severe back, neck, stomach or head injuries

Menstruations and pregnancy

Modifications and Props for Beginners

  • Use Blocks: Place two blocks behind your hips and rest your hands on the blocks. This can help to reduce the amount of weight that your arms need to support, making the pose more accessible.
  • Practice Against the Wall: Stand with your back against a wall and place your hands on the wall behind you. This can help you to engage your arms and shoulders while still maintaining stability.

Useful Tips

  • Engage Your Core: To help maintain stability in the pose, engage your core muscles by drawing your navel towards your spine. This will help to support your lower back and keep your hips lifted.
  • Keep Your Shoulders Down: It’s common to lift your shoulders towards your ears in this pose. Instead, focus on drawing your shoulder blades down your back, away from your ears.
  • Take Breaks: If you’re feeling fatigued, take breaks and come back to the pose when you’re ready. It’s better to rest than to push yourself too hard and risk injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Urdhva Dandasana suitable for beginners?

Urdhva Dandasana is an advanced pose that requires a lot of strength and stability in the upper body. It is not recommended for beginners unless they have a solid foundation in arm balances and have worked up to it with the help of a qualified teacher.

Can Urdhva Dandasana be modified?

Yes, Urdhva Dandasana can be modified with the use of props or by practicing preparatory poses that build strength and stability in the upper body. Some modifications include using a block under the hands or practicing the pose with the knees bent.

How do I avoid wrist pain in Urdhva Dandasana?

To avoid wrist pain in Urdhva Dandasana, it is important to engage the muscles in the arms and shoulders and to distribute the weight evenly through the hands. You can also modify the pose by using a block or by practicing the pose with the forearms on the ground instead of the hands.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in Urdhva Dandasana?

Common mistakes in Urdhva Dandasana include allowing the elbows to splay out to the sides, collapsing through the chest and shoulders, and not engaging the core muscles.

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.