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Hello! Welcome to In the Moment with the Staff Pose!!
November 18, 2012

Body Moments ~ In the Moment with the Staff Pose to Ground Yourself during the Holidays!
Issue #025 - November 18, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

For my readers in the USA, I warmly wish you and your family a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Always keep your attitude of gratitude!

In the Moment with the Staff Pose to Keep You Grounded during the Holidays!

For this month's Body Moment, I have chosen a foundational pose, the Staff Pose (Dandasana). Just like the Mountain Pose (Tadasana) which is the foundation for all standing poses, this pose is the basis for all the sitting poses. Though the Staff Pose appears to be very simple, doing it well is not.

During the holiday season, our anxiety tends to rise. There is so much to do, not to mention dealing with the stress of family member's presence that we may or may not relish.

The foundational poses are so named, because they support the very foundation within ourselves, the 1st Chakra. This is the area in which all of our basic human needs for survival are met. Food, water, shelter, money and sufficient sleep. When we are well grounded in the earth and in our 1st Chakra, we feel supported, safe and secure and part of a well established community.

These very basic needs that are true of all humanity are important indeed. Therefore strengthening your physical grounding will lower your anxiety and help you stay focused in times of stress which the holidays bring.

Start the Staff Pose by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you as shown below.

Yoga Staff Pose

Staff Pose

If you have short arms, like I do, you can make a fist with your hands so your knuckles reach the ground on either side of your hips as shown.

If you have normal length arms, place your palms down flat on the floor beside your hips with your fingers pointing toward you toes.

If your arms are really long, you may have to place your hands behind your hips to keep a straight spine. Make sure your palms remain flat on the ground.

The object is to have a straight and tall spine. You can check if you are in the correct position by sitting with your back against the wall. Your arms should be extended and straight with your elbows in. Adjust accordingly. Only your shoulder blades and just above your tailbone should be touching the wall.

If your hamstrings are pulling too much, because they are tight, you may sit on a cushion or blanket to raise your hips and reduce this stress on the back of your legs. You will know you need a cushion if you can't sit up straight, but find you are leaning backwards.

Now that you have found a comfortable Staff Position, let's engage your legs. Make sure that your sitting bones (the bones that touch the floor at the bottom of your hips) are both firmly pressing into the floor. Now press your thighs down into the floor as you flex your ankles, so that your toes point up to the ceiling. Now focus on slightly rotating your inner thighs in, all the way up to your groin. This will solidify the grounding movement.

Next, focus on raising your consciousness to move energy from your sitting bones and traveling upward through your spine and out through the top of your head. Feel your spine lengthen as you do this. Keep your chin in neutral. Avoid the tendency to look up or down.

Now, send your energy downwards, bringing awareness of the energy traveling from above your head, downward through your spine and into your hips to ground your more firmly into the earth.

Feel these alternating energy streams, down the spine, grounding the hips and legs, coupled with the energy from your hips back up the spine and out the top of your head.

Make it your intention to hold this pose as long as you are able. I like to imagine the Energy moving up my spine when I inhale and the the Energy moving down my spine as I exhale. Inhaling energy up from the earth and exhaling energy down through me from the heavens. A lovely, relaxing and grounding experience!

Refrain from judging yourself if you feel tight or unbalanced, in this pose. Use the wall if you need to. It is OK to reach out for support when you need it. Notice where you are in the moment, and breathe into the realization that each day you practice, your body, your heart and your soul will adjust a little bit more to become more grounded! Be content in the moment, where you are today!

While holding the pose, you may wish to affirm:

  • "I am safe and secure."
  • "I am supported and loved by God."
  • "I am grounded and whole."
  • "I release my judging and I am open to this moment."
  • "I am strong."
  • "I am full of Energy from the Earth and from Above."
  • "I am One with All."
Or you may wish to create your own mantra to help you find your own supportive and grounding energy in regards to your unique needs.

By practicing this pose every day for the coming weeks, you will find that your anxiety will stay low, as you stay grounded and in the moment.

The more you experience this energy shifting in your body when you do the Staff Pose, the better able you will be to discern what is the most grounding for you in your everyday life.

'May you stay anxiety-free and feel love and support in all things when you spend this moment with your body!'

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