Reclining Staff Pose
To enter Reclining Staff pose, lie on the floor with arms at the side and legs extended. Inhale, and while exhaling, press the lower back into the floor and slowly raise the feet while engaging the core muscles. Continue raising the feet until the legs are perpendicular to the floor. Lower the shoulders away from the ears and toward the floor as the palms are also pressed into the floor. Flex the feet and hold while breathing. To exit the pose, inhale and engage the core muscles. While exhaling, slowly lower the feet to the ground while keeping the legs straight. When the feet reach the floor, release the flexed position and core muscles.
Imagine a rope pulling the feet toward the sky while a weight rests on your lower abdomen to ground the torso.
If the core muscles lack strength, the lower back may rise up off the floor. Use the palms of the hands to press into the floor for stability. Keep feet flexed and the legs straight.
- Strengthens core muscles
- Improves digestion
- Stretches and strengthens lower back
- Improves posture
WATCH OUT FOR
- Neck strain and tensing of shoulders
- Lower back pain
- Strain on lower back
- Lower back injury
- Neck injury
- Discomfort in lower back or hips
- Perform this pose near a wall and use the wall as support while building core muscles.
- Rest the calves on a chair with bent knees and start in this position.
- Support the neck and lower back with blankets.
- Perform Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Foot pose) by entering and exiting Reclined Staff pose in a continuous manner. The movement is excellent for abdominal muscle building.
- For a restorative version, perform Legs up the Wall pose, where the buttocks is against the wall and the legs are straight up the wall.
YOGA COUNTER POSES
- Knees to Chest (Apanasana)
- Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
- Reclined Mountain (Supta Tadasana)
Written By: Kristen Porter
Kristen Porter is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher, studio owner (www.ovcyoga.com), corporate attorney, wife and mom. Her passion is helping people realize their true strength and inner light by sharing wisdom learned through yoga, meditation and incorporating positive changes in her own life.