It would be hard to imagine teaching a beginners yoga class without including the seated pose Dandasana. Why? Because it’s one of those poses that’s simple but still challenging. You start out relatively comfortably sitting on the floor, but then, you find there’s much to pay attention to: hamstrings, the curves of the back, your overall posture, for instance.
Think of Dandasana as being home base when you do a sequence of seated poses. You take a couple of minutes in Dandasana, being mindful of basic alignment points. You’re not stressed so you can be aware of your breath.
As a beginner you can feel into the back of your body and create the natural curves of you spine: neck, back chest, lower back and sacrum. If you’re an experienced practitioner, look for more refined adjustments, as in broadening your heels from the inside to the outside so you can widen your sitting bones and internally rotate your legs.
Place Dandasana in between the following poses to create a sequence that will open your hips and groins and prepare you for standing poses.
Sukhasana Forward Bend (Supported
Baddha Konasana Forward Bend
Upavistha Konasana Forward Bend
Note: For people with tight hamstrings, Dandasana can be a particularly daunting pose, as the hamstrings will tend to pull your pelvis under and cause your lower back to round. To avoid this, sit on the forward edge of a cushion, so that you create a curve in the lumbar spine while doing the pose and/or hold onto a strap placed around the soles of your feet.