Urdhva Dandasana – upward staff pose. A closer look

  • This is an advanced pose requiring a lot of core strength in the abdomen and back. There is always room for improvement and I had someone take this photo so that I could see my progress as even with a mirrored studio it is not possible to see your own alignment in this posture! Taking a closer look I can see I need even more lift of the scapula ( shoulder blades) and more work on folding the scapula back against the rib cage. As beginners we work on this shoulder blade action in many poses including extended child’s pose, downward facing dog and upward facing dog. So whatever level you are at you are laying the foundation for more advanced work so keep listening to the detailed instructions and focus on getting that mind-body connection so that you can “ feel” when you are hitting the correct alignment.
  • I’m also working on more core strength in the abdomen and back and leg strength in order to lengthen the legs and bring them down to parallel to achieve the correct alignment for this pose.

In the studio we have two mirrored walls which I encourage students to use to observe their own alignment during some focused classes for some postures in order to bring the self awareness and mind body connection needed to take postures forward. I also benefit as a teacher in that I can see the whole class from different angles. Classes have a maximum of 6 participants so there is no escaping!

During one to one classes or semi-private classes ( 2 participants) I can take photos of more challenging postures like shoulder stand so that the student can benefit from seeing their current level, progress to date and the “working on” issues to achieve perfect alignment. If you think you could benefit from a detailed analysis of your yoga practice with some marked up photos and improvement advice please get in touch.

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