One of the basic sitting postures in yoga is considered to be Dandasana, or Staff pose. It may seem very simple to sit with your legs stretched forward. But do not forget the important subtleties when performing this asana. Your knees should be pressed to the floor, toes pointed toward the body, heels connected, back flat, buttocks slightly tensed, spine and head aligned. Your back at this moment is like an anchor that keeps your body perpendicular to the floor.
From Dandasana you can perform many other asanas and yoga exercises, including dynamic ones. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Exercises from Dandasana with bends
The legs remain straight while performing these asanas, and the back also remains straight. The main element responsible for performing these asanas is the hip joints. But that doesn’t mean that they are the only ones that are involved. Asanas with bending have an impact on the spine, on the internal organs, including almost the pelvic organs, as well as stimulating the digestion.
The best known asanas with bends that can be performed from Dandasana are Paschimottanasana (forward bending from the staff posture) and Janushirshasana (head bending toward the knee). These can be difficult to perform during pregnancy, so it’s best to use a strap to avoid doing deep bends.
Cross-legged Dandasana exercises
The yoga pose everyone knows as Lotus pose is Padmasana. Padmasana can also be performed from Dandasana. This pose stimulates blood circulation in the groin area, reduces the likelihood of varicose veins, and strengthens the back. By the way, your back should be especially watched while doing these asanas: your back should be straight, your head should be pulled up and your shoulders should be pulled down. The same should be done in other cross-legged poses:
- Sukhasana, or comfortable pose;
- Bhadrasana, or wholesome pose;
- Baddha Konasana, or butterfly pose.
Exercises performed sitting on one’s knees
A fairly simple pose that can easily be adapted for pregnant women is the Diamond pose, or Vajrasana. You need to sit on your knees and spread your feet so that you can sit between them on the floor, hands folded “namaste”. After the fourth month of pregnancy, these poses can be performed with the knees apart for comfort of the abdomen. This asana is good for stimulating digestion and is recommended for those with hyperacidity.
Exercises performed in a squatting position
Squat yoga postures are good for strengthening pelvic floor muscles and developing ligament mobility. For example, Malasana: fold your arms “namaste”, put your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, put your body weight on your heels and gently squat with your knees slightly apart with your elbows. Malasana should not be practiced if there is a threat of miscarriage, but during contractions it is an ideal position.
Exercises from Dandasana with twists
From Dandasana, twisting asanas such as: Marichiasana and Bharadwajasana.
To do Marichiyasana, bend the right leg at the knee, bringing the heel to the groin, put the left hand behind the back and the right hand on the inner side of the right thigh, pushing the knee slightly to the side. The gaze is directed behind the left shoulder. Hold the pose for a few seconds, then do the right twist again.
Bharadwajasana is usually performed from Dandasana, but it is better to use a chair when pregnant. Sit on a chair so that the back of the chair is closer to your left side, then stretch your back up, relaxing your abdomen, and slowly twist your body to the left. (Make sure your abdomen is relaxed) and turn to the left. Hold the pose for a few seconds, then repeat the twist to the right.
Asanas with twists help strengthen the uterine muscles and activate the intestines, as well as help get rid of lower back pain.
Regular practice of these yoga asanas improves abdominal organ function, strengthens the back, posterior thigh muscles, calves and hamstrings, and works the pelvic organs. You can watch the correct technique in our video lessons on our website.