Urdhva Dandasana (Upward Staff Pose)

Upward Staff Pose
Level: Intermediate

Urdhva = rising or tending upwards, raised, elevated, upright. Danda = a stick, staff, rod or pole.

For a simpler variation that can be used by people still learning Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand), do the pose with the feet at the wall. Start by sitting with your pelvis against the wall and the legs straight, mark off where your heels go. This is where you will place your head. Then walk the feet up the wall.

Organizing the Pose

  1. Come into the pose from Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand 1).
  2. Lower the legs down to horizontal, allowing the hips to shift slightly back.
  3. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
  4. Either lower the feet to the floor or return to Shirshasana and continue on with other variations.

Practice Points

  • Keep the wrists stacked up and ground down evenly through the forearms.
  • Stretch down through the triceps into the elbow while stretching up through the biceps.
  • Stretch evenly through the armpits.
  • Reach the waist up and back towards the hips and the feet forward away from them.
  • Broaden the collarbones and balance the weight evenly between them.
  • Widen the neck, throat and upper back.
  • Soften and widen the chest, neck and throat.