Staff Pose (Dandasana)
1. My lower back and upper back are completely rounded! In yoga, sometimes the simplest poses can be the hardest! In staff pose, you should have straight posture in your spine. You can fix the rounding by engaging your core, lifting up through the back of the body (imagine someone is pulling you with a string from the top of your head) and bringing your front ribs to your hip bones (knit your core together).
2. My thighs are not engaged, causing my thighs and feet to roll outward! The biggest misconception in seated poses is that your body is relaxed, when in fact your muscles need to be engaged! You want to reach through your heels, flex your feet, spin your inner thighs to the floor and lift up through your shins and quads. Think strong engaged legs - as if you were standing!
3. My arms in the "Before" photo are basically limp noodles! Your arms are there for support and strength. Spread your palms, press down into the ground and engage your triceps! Also, make sure your shoulders are drawn back and your shoulder blades are in towards your chest. Remember all of your body needs to work together to achieve your most effective form!
If you have tight hamstrings, bend your knees or take your feet hip-width distance apart. You can also practice engaging your legs by pressing your feet into the wall!