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Phuket Health: Getting back to basics

PHUKET: Hi and welcome to another sunny month in Phuket and another yoga asana, in our pursuit of a healthier body and happier mind.


By Kim White

Tuesday 19 March 2013, 05:02PM


This month I thought I would talk about dandasana, this posture is considered to be one of the fundamental building blocks for a healthy and successful yoga practise.

More often than not in modern yoga class rooms, this posture is used as a resting asana only, but I am here to tell you that there is more to this posture than meets the eye.

Dandasana or staff pose holds real benefits for your body and mind. When performed correctly, Dandasana strengthens all major core muscles, improves posture, and increases stamina.

I have often taught this to new students and they are very surprised when they realise that what they thought was a simple task of sitting on the floor with their back and legs straight, proves to be a challenge.

In modern day life we tend to sit in a number of ways and on a number of “things” that don’t do our posture any favours. We hunch forward, round the back, lean on one side and always have the knees bent.

Dandasana is a great way of ironing out these little body kinks and getting our bodies back into a heathly upright posture so we look more like humans and less like gorillas.

 

  • Helps improve posture

  • Strengthens back muscles

  • Lengthens and stretches the spine

  • May help to relieve complications related to the reproductive organs

  • Stretches shoulders and chest

  • Nourishes your body’s resistance to back and hip injuries

  • Helps to calm brain cells

  • May improve functionality of the digestive organs

  • Creates body awareness

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  • Helps improve alignment of body

  • Provides a mild stretch for hamstrings

  • This asana also gives relief to people that feel bloated in the abdomen due to gas or gastric complaints. It also reduces fat from around the waistline and tones the kidneys…(goodbye muffin top!!)

Lets look at the how to steps for dandasana – staff pose.

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs together and extended in front of your torso. If your torso is leaning back, it may be because tight hamstrings are dragging the sitting bones toward the knees and the back of the pelvis toward the floor. It may be helpful to sit with your back against the wall (as seen on photo one.) The sacrum (triangular bone at the base of the spine) and the shoulder blades should touch the wall, but not lower back or the back of the head. Put a small rolled-up towel between the wall and the lower back.

  2. Sit towards the front of the sitting bones, Without hardening the belly, firm the thighs, press them down against the floor (or your support), rotate them slightly toward each other, and draw the inner groins toward the sacrum. Flex your ankles, pressing out through your heels.

  3. To lengthen your front torso perpendicular to the floor, think of energy streaming upward from the pubis to the sternum, then down the back from the shoulders to the tail bone. Then imagine the tail lengthening into the floor.

  4. Imagine your spine as the "staff" at the vertical core of your torso, rooted firmly in the Earth, the support and pivot of all you do. Hold the pose for one minute or longer.

So, enjoy sitting around on the floor this month in staff pose and I will see you next month with another life changing yoga pose.

Happy stretching!

Metta,

Kim

Kim White is the owner of Sala Suddhavasa, an internal arts centre in Rawai offering private and group sessions in taiji, yoga and meditation: 086 276 9174, info@suddhavasa.com; suddhavasa.com

The opinions and advice contained in this column are those of the author only. The Phuket News is not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any situation.



 

 

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