How to practice: Daṇḍāsana (Stick Pose)

by Delight Yoga

Daṇḍāsana, 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. 

Daṇḍāsana Instructions

1. ekam
Inhale, raise arms overhead, palms together
Dhristi: to the middle of the thumb (añguṣṭhamadhye)

2. dve
Exhale, fold forward, hands to ground
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

3. trīṇi
Inhale, lift head, lengthen the spine
Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrūmadhye)

4. catvāri
Exhale, hands down, float back, elbows close to chest (Caturāṅga Daṇḍāsana)
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

5. pañca
Inhale, roll on tops of feet, open the chest, straighten arms
Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrūmadhye)

6. ṣaṭ
Exhale, roll over the toes, push back, lift hips, straight arms. 
Dhristi: to the navel (nābicakre)

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

- 5 breaths, Daṇḍāsana
  Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)
 

Daṇḍāsana 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