Dandasana (Stick Pose) and modifications explained

How to practice: Dandasana (Stick Pose)

By: Delight Yoga

Dandasana, or Stick Pose, is the fifth posture in the Primary Series of the Astanga Vinyasa yoga system. The Primary Series is said to be the most demanding because it is the first series you learn as a beginner - and every beginning is hard. It is called Yoga Chikitsa, meaning Yoga Therapy. It is a series for cleansing and healing the body.

The Primary Series sets the foundation for all of the following series. If you look superficially, it may seem as if the Primary Series is the easiest of the six series in the Astanga Vinyasa System, but in fact, it is the most demanding. It is here that you start your practice, where you get used to the breath and Vinyasas, and to your daily yoga practice.


Dandasana Instructions

  1. ekam

Inhale, raise arms overhead, palms together

Dhristi: to the middle of the thumb (angusthamadhye)

  1. dve

Exhale, fold forward, hands to ground

Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

  1. trini

Inhale, lift head, lengthen the spine

Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrumadhye)

  1. catvari

Exhale, hands down, float back, elbows close to chest (Caturanga Dandasana)

Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

  1. panca

Inhale, roll on tops of feet, open the chest, straighten arms

Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrumadhye)

  1. sat

Exhale, roll over the toes, push back, lift hips, straight arms.

Dhristi: to the navel (nabicakre)

  1. sapta

Inhale, jump through to sitting, straight legs, hands to the ground beside the body, back straight

5 breaths, Daṇḍasana
Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

Dandasana Benefits

  • Lengthens and realigns the spine
  • Stretches the backs of the legs gently
  • Opens the chest
  • Stimulates the respiratory and reproductive systems
  • Tones the kidneys
  • Reduces fat around the waistline
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