Dandasana (Staff Pose)
Karma is known for its nomadic tribe take on yoga, but without a studio, we are limited when it comes to teaching our students about the use of props to help get deeper into a posture or make a challenging pose more obtainable. The Karma Dama blog will show you ways to guide your body into postures you can practice at home.
Props are expensive and before I invested the money in them myself, I got creative and found household items that I could utilize as props, plus it fuels this fun idea of a home practice. Here are some of the things I use:
Block- thick hardcover book, I usually put a rubber band around the book so it doesn’t come open mid-use.
Strap- If you aren’t a tie wearer, a belt also works. I personally prefer a tie because if I need a long strap, I can tie multiple of them together.
Blanket- you don’t need a fancy yoga blanket to utilize a blanket in your practice, your favorite one around your home would do just fine.
Bolster- Bolsters come in many different sizes, luckily so do household pillows, find a pillow (or 5) that you like and can use for a bolster.
Chair- many people may not be familiar with yoga chairs but you can utilize them for inversions and arm balances. Find a sturdy chair in your home and ONLY PRACTICE WITH IT ON CARPET or all chair legs on the mat. No yogis sliding around on tile or wood floors.
This highlighted pose for this month is less prop intensive and challenge pose like and more of a foundation needed to help you find your sitz bones to have optimal range of motion in any seated poses. For staff pose, the props you will need will be an extra long strap or two straps, or as many ties as needed to for this length and a block.
Make as large of a loop as you can to be about the length of your legs.
Place the block under your feet and wrap the strap around the back of your pelvis and and the back side of the block. You want this to be tight enough where it shifts your weight forward where your spine is aligned straight. The block under your feet forces you to flex your feet to help protect your knees from locking out and causing problems there. Activate your Uddiyana Bandha (core) to help give you strength in this posture.
Hang out here in this support for a few breathes and observe the feeling your body has. Notice the effortless effort it provides you when you are stacked straight. Then try this posture again without the support and see if you can bring yourself up on your sitz bones to get the same feeling.
Go forth and play yogis!
-Namaste, Michi P.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER
This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.