Upward-Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose

Definition - What does Upward-Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose mean?

Upward-facing two-foot staff pose is an advanced inversion and backbend that opens the chest and increases flexibility throughout the body. It is a combination of upward-facing bow and supported headstand poses and should not be attempted until those postures are mastered.

One way to begin upward-facing two-foot staff pose is by lying on the back with bent knees and the feet hip-width apart. The palms are reversed and placed shoulder-width apart just above the shoulders. The hips are lifted, while the crown of the head rests on the ground. The forearms are lowered to the ground (fingers pointing to the feet) and the fingers interlace behind the head, as if setting up for supported headstand pose. The head is then lifted off the ground, and the chest coils through the arms.

Upward-facing two-foot staff pose may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, dwi pada viparita dandasana.

Yogapedia explains Upward-Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose

This pose not only stretches the spine, but is a chest and hip opener, and is thought to have numerous other physical and mental benefits, including:

  • Improving posture by enhancing flexibility and elasticity
  • Stretching and strengthening the back, neck, arm and leg muscles
  • Strengthening the uterus
  • Enhancing core stability, balance and endurance
  • Boosting mental focus and concentration
  • Soothing the mind and reducing stress

For an easier variation of upward-facing two-foot staff pose, use a folding chair and blanket for support. Place the blanket on the seat of the chair and the buttocks on the blanket. The legs extend through the back of the chair, while the upper body drops off the front, creating the back bend. For additional support, the chair can be placed so the feet touch a wall, or yoga blocks can be placed under the feet.

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