Yoga Lesson Planning Tip Of The Week
How To Teach Dandasana (Staff Pose), The Foundation Of All Seated Yoga Poses

Step 1
Teach The Philosophy

Explain to your students the philosophy behind dandasana.  You could say something like:  “Dandasana is the foundation of all seated yoga poses.  It’s often used as a resting or preparatory pose.   Though don’t be fooled!   It is one of those simple looking asanas that looks easy, but if you do it correctly, is one of the most challenging asanas you’ll come across.  While you’re in the pose, imagine your spine as a staff, rooted firmly in the earth.”

Step 2
Teach The Benefits

You don’t have to give them all.

Physical Benefits

  • Improve posture
  • Teaches you to sit with correct posture
  • Improves body alignment
  • Strengthens back muscles
  • Lengthens spine
  • Stretches spine
  • Stretches shoulders
  • Stretches chest
  • Stretches hamstrings
  • Prevents back and hip injuries
  • Calming

Mental/Emotional Benefits

  • Helps creates body awareness

Step 3
Teach Staff Pose

Here are some quick teaching tips…

  • Keep thighs as flat on the floor as possible.
  • Modification: Sit with your back against a wall for straight posture.
  • Warm up leg muscles by pressing heels into the floor (avoid locking knees).
  • Firm the thighs.
  • Rotate thighs gently towards each other.
  • Keep feet flexed.
  • Imagine your spine as a staff, rooted firmly in the earth.
  • Feel there is a 1 ton weight on your thighs (pin them down)
  • To lengthen & straighten spine, feel crown of head floating to the ceiling.

Here’s a video tutorial of staff pose

Sit with legs crossed.

Elongate through spine.

Straighten legs.

Press into heels.

Toes point towards face.

Palms on tops of thighs (help draw thighs down).

Tops of thighs draw in to engage legs.

Lift chest up (open heart).

Draw belly button towards spine. 

Step 4
Give A Counter Pose

A good counter pose is Upward Facing Plank.

Step 5
Get The Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit

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George Watts

BWY Yoga Teacher at George Watts Yoga
This post was lovingly morphed into reality by BWY yoga teacher, George Watts. If you're looking for a treasure trove of yoga lesson planning goodness, take a quick peek at Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.

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