The yogic Staff Pose (Dandasana in the original Sanskrit) is a perfect beginner’s pose because it is a starting position for many of other yoga positions that are held on the floor. The Staff pose appears deceptively easy, but if you hold it correctly, it will always offer a challenge.
To begin, sit on the floor with your legs together, stretched out in front of you, and with your feet hips’ width apart. If you have trouble sitting up perfectly straight, you may begin practicing this pose with your back against a wall to help you achieve the correct posture, but you will need to begin training your muscles to hold your back straight as well. Sit with your shoulders in line with your hips, and visualize a rod running from the top of your head, down your spine, through your tail bone and into the floor. This will help you keep your head, back, and hips in perfect, straight alignment.
Next, place your fingertips against the floor, facing forward toward your toes, with your hands positioned just slightly behind your hips. If it is not painful, press your hands down until your palms touch the floor. Become conscious of your body and ground it to the floor. Stretch your legs, and without locking your knees, keep the backs of your legs pressed against the floor. Keep your feet in the natural position with the toes pointed upward. Now, engage the thigh muscles and flex your feet.
Press down, through your fingertips, as you stretch your core upward by pressing against the floor. Visualize yourself growing taller and taller, and concentrate on the muscles of your core as they work to elongate your torso. Lift your chest while dropping your shoulder blades and opening your collar bones. Keep your breathing natural and steady, and your gaze forward with your chin slightly tucked. Try holding this position for five breathes before relaxing and repeating three times.
This pose will dramatically improve your posture, and it has been recommended for those with reproductive organ troubles or sciatica. It will bring a sense of calm and promote the functioning of the kidneys and other digestive organs. If you have severe back problems, such as a slipped disk, begin practicing this pose carefully and do not cause pain. If you feel pain at any point while achieving this pose, modify it until it feels like a challenge to your muscles without causing pain.