Yoga for Absolute Beginners: Sukhasana and Dandasana

Beginner I

In this class, David shows you how to comfortably sit on the floor in two of yoga's more common seated positions, easy cross-legged (sukhasana) and staff pose (dandasana). He also helps you understand some of the basic yoga principles as you learn how to stretch your body effectively. This class is a part of a 'Yoga for Beginners' series. If you're a beginner who would like to learn more about yoga, check out our blog article Yoga for Beginners – Everything You Need to Know Before You Start, as well as more resources on our Yoga for Beginners page.

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Comments

Existing Comments

Evangeline8
April 20, 2021
Comment:

Grateful to have had this 1st class. I could really feel my body stretching. I have to remind myself to breath. Namaste.

0903607009
April 5, 2021
Comment:

I got a problem with listening , I am not American or British , I am Vietnamese and I am not really good at English , but I love your way of teaching yoga and I wish you can write the captions for me to read. I am going to register to be a member , however I can't understand all the thing you said. Thank you very much!
P/S : in minute 19:03 , I heard "So I want you to bring your ankle right together and then energise your legs and flex you toes back..."
What is next? And what is it for?

Fiji McAlpine
April 6, 2021
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Your English is really great, learning yoga in English must be challenging but also a great way to grow your understanding of the language! The cue at 19:03 is asking you to engage your legs, as you pull your toes back the the front of your legs will engage, your quadriceps, this will help you press the knees down and get more firmly rooted in your hips, your sit bones will root down. You want a solid seady base in this active seated pose.

HappySoul
March 8, 2021
Comment:

Thank you so much David for sharing your knowledge, skill and wisdom. Your gift has allowed me to escape the clutches of chronic pain relative to my untreatable bone cancer. While I cannot progress at the recommended pace I am now able to move more freely and am able to live a much more normal life without the use of any pain medications apart from the occasional Tylenol. Couple this with the way that yoga has integrated seamlessly into my spirituality and it is difficult to express my depth of gratitude. You have blessed me profundly. In this mind I say , Namaste, to express my gratitiude and also "the divine within me sees the divine within you". Blessings on your journey.

Amcarter
December 12, 2020
Comment:

Very nice. I'm not a beginner but I've been away for a very long time and found that even with beginner videos I couldn't do the poses without strain because of the tightness in my body.. This is more beginner than any beginner thing I've done and it met me where I'm at. Thank you. Also, I love your style of presentation and your honest and compassionate business model. I will be sharing this with everyone I know. Have a wonderful day.

Lbrooks14
November 14, 2020
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This is the first yoga class I have ever even attempted to take. I really enjoyed it. My body feels amazing after this. I'm very excited to do more classes with you! Thank you!

Coley8301
June 26, 2020
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Best beginner yoga I've ever tried. Did this after working a 12 hr shift as a nurse at a hospital and my back feels so much better and I'm relaxed and ready for bed.

LaRomaStone
June 21, 2020
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It has been at least three years since I last practiced yoga and even longer since it was an integral part of my self-care routine, so I am starting from square one. I am writing this comment directly after finishing the class and I can tell from how difficult it was to relax into the final pose (my chest felt so heavy and tight and almost painful) that I have a lengthy journey ahead of me. I’m going to repeat this class a few times before moving to the next one. Thank you for helping me to take this first step toward a more balanced life. Namaste.

rdslp
May 11, 2020
Comment:

Thank you so much for doing this! I've watched and tried a variety of 'beginner' yoga videos that did not feel beginner to me at all. This really did the trick and now I feel like I can continue from this point.

TAMRA SPANO
April 24, 2020
Comment:

I am not in any good flexible abilities, to sit crossed leg was difficult. Knees would not let me stay crossed legged. I know I need to he stretching to get legs to cross sit. The rest I was able, but am concerned that improper sitting defeats other steps of yoga. I felt all the body stretching. Is this still going to work as I work my legs into the cross sit?

cammiew
April 19, 2020
Comment:

Thank you so much. I have done some yoga before but no one taught in detail how to sit. So I am starting with absolute beginner. Is there any way to increase flexibility in my hips? I am very tight and need the 6" side of blocks to hold my knees up in sukhasana!

PianoWire
April 6, 2020
Comment:

This lesson, my first, was discouraging. I'm healthy and fit, but not at all flexible. The twists made me wince and groan. In staff pose, I couldn't straighten my legs beyond 90 degrees without rolling back on my sit bones. With straight elbows and interlocked fingers, I couldn't get my arms more than 45 degrees above horizontal. If this is really the most basic beginner lesson available, I wonder whether I'm just not flexible enough to be attempting yoga. What do you suggest? Is there a different "absolute beginner" series for people who aren't flexible? Should I move on the next lesson in this series, or would that risk injury? Give up yoga and try something else instead?

David Procyshyn
April 7, 2020
Comment:

Hi there.
I can understand feeling discouraged - I was there myself when I first started out. I could barely straighten my legs are raise my hands over my head either, due to competitive sports and injuries. She said that I should simply "start where I am at". If you need to bend your knees to keep your back straight, that's what you need to do! The best thing you can do is not feel like you need to look like everyone else. It's simply too discouraging. Let it all go and do what works for your body.

It's ok to move onto the next videos, but I would repeat this one a few times so you can get used to how to adapt your body to the poses. If you can, do a video daily so your body can get used to it. Also, continue to ask questions below the videos so we can help!

MichelleE
March 24, 2020
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Thank you for making these videos. We’re stuck in quarantine, and your beginning classes have helped us stay healthy and positive. How wonderful to have some healing throughout this anxious time.

MKanders
October 29, 2019
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Thank you for offering these classes and your newsletter. I am so excited to get started on this new journey of self-discovery and the health benefits that come with consistent practice.

sng4ever
October 17, 2019
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Great for me to help others as I go through YTT. David is always great with insructions.

Ninadenuk
September 25, 2019
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It's amazing. I didn't find this anywhere else! Thanks

Dadalpaga
September 17, 2019
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Thank you for this class! I'm an absolute beginner and this helped me understand the fundamental positions and how to do them right.

bak3dalaska
June 15, 2019
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Amazing site and great informational videos!!! closed captioning would be fantastic for people who are deaf/hearing impaired!!!

DeeYvonnee
April 7, 2019
Comment:

Hello my name is Dee and I wish to say thank you to all those who make this website possible. It is a wonderful resource to help people help themselves.

I am 41 and have been on a disability pension half my life for mental illness and recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (hooray not fun) and have found out the cause of my back pain finally....Anterior pelvic tilt I was born with.

Anyhow not having that much money to spend on Yoga classes or being able to step out of the house sometimes with extreme anxiety/depression I am soo grateful that I searched and found Do yoga with me I believe with a self commitment I can start to heal myself one class at a time mind, body and spirit. x Dee

DeWaat
March 23, 2019
Comment:

I'm doing yoga for a few years now and yet I learned so much from this class. So much I didn't know... And we moved through these 'basic' poses so mindfully.. The stretched seemed more profound than I can remember.. A lovely class. Thank you David for sharing this.

RubyCantu
February 4, 2019
Comment:

I am a nurse and developing a health and fitness routine for myself and decided to include yoga. This is my first time ever experiencing it and I can already see the benefits that yoga can provide. I'm 45 years old and have been feeling muscle and tendon tightness and knew I needed to establish some sort of stretching routine. This first class made me realize I'm more stiff than I thought I was. But I know that all that will a be a thing of the past with yoga. Great class.

NovaSun
February 3, 2019
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I have no known health problems other than being very out of shape and inflexible, though I do have severe anxiety. Everything done in this video except for the laying down at the end was very uncomfortable or even painful for me. My Feet even started falling asleep from the pressure of my legs resting on them. Is this normal because I'm so out of shape and inflexible or might I have been doing it wrong? Could I be very tense and that's making it painful? Thank you.

mmsanford
February 2, 2019
Comment:

David mentioned a link would be present below the screen with the class in it to be able to read about Yoga. I did not see a link. Can you explain where I might find it please?

Fvillagecom
January 30, 2019
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Excellent first class. I think I can stick with this and get some great benefits from it.

Ana puckett
November 23, 2018
Comment:

I'm new and so I'm checking this out. I really liked this first class. I'm going to get my equipment ready, by tomorrow hopefully, and do this class. Today I only watched and listened. You do a great job! Thank you!!!

David Procyshyn
October 24, 2018
Comment:

Thank you for all of the comments everyone. It's great to hear from you.

s.boland
October 22, 2018
Comment:

I have lordosis, or commonly known as 'swayback' and I'm a bit worried about lying on the floor, or trying to sit up and push my lower back forward when my back is already pushed forward by weakened muscles. Any tricks around this?

David Procyshyn
October 24, 2018
Comment:

Hi there. Yes, the trick is to start feeling what correct alignment feels like. In your case, because your pelvis is tilted slightly forward, that will feel like your normal and your hip flexors will be very tight while your hamstrings will be lengthened too much. You will need to work harder to tilt the pelvis back and in effect, lengthen and flatten your lower back. So yes, you're right about not wanting to push your lower back forward. That movement is to avoid slouching. You need to focus more on lengthening your lower back using your abdominal muscles. Does that make sense?

s.boland
October 24, 2018
Comment:

It does, thank you! I did this class two days ago and had ease with leaning forward onto my sitting bones, but now that I know to lean back a bit into it, it should make this a bit more challenging and this will help me make sure my foundation is rock solid before I start moving on in the beginner's series. Thank you so much!

karlanorrisbeauty
September 17, 2018
Comment:

This class was my very first experience with yoga and I came out of it like "It's already over?" I'm working on getting my fitness and diet on track and was very pleased with this introduction. Can't wait to do more! After work I feel drained, but today I'm ready to face the evening! I feel so relaxed! Huge shout out to Every Damn Day Fitness for directing me here!

Rosa Sousa
August 30, 2018
Comment:

This class is absolutely perfect for first timers in yoga. The pace is very calm, very soothing as it should be, has mindfulness put into it, the focus on the breathing... Fantastic, thank you.

I would also like to add that I have back problems due to long term exercise in a bad shape, so it was extremely important for me the focus the teacher had on the back curve and position. Will never forget that.

Much love to all of you. Namaste

Yvonne17
August 23, 2018
Comment:

I'm so grateful to learn yoga first time here.
Thank u so so much!!

AfroMama
July 15, 2018
Comment:

Thank you so much! I would like to take this class again.

Danamck
July 1, 2018
Comment:

I had a left hip replacement 6 months ago and have been released with no restrictions. I know I won't be able to sit cross legged in the beginning. I've never done yoga before but have always wanted to.

Rosa Sousa
August 30, 2018
Comment:

Don't give up on the classes. I'm sure you will find a way to adapt the exercises in your conditions. and yoga is not all about the poses. I wish you well for your recovery! Namaste

Kazzawin
June 27, 2018
Comment:

I consider myself fairly flexible but have never mastered sitting cross legged either well or for very long. Your suggestions were so helpful and made the class comfortable and enjoyable. Thank you, I look forward to lesson 2.

Guido Sarango
June 4, 2018
Comment:

Thank you David for your help! As a student I went through a lo of stress lately along with other personal issues I developed some anxiety and insomnia and some type of muscle tightness so my physio avised me to give it a try. And so far I have enjoyed it, thanks David. You are a good person.
One day, Ill become a paid subscriber I promise!!!

David Procyshyn
June 4, 2018
Comment:

<p>Thanks for the comment, Guido. It's nice to hear that you're progressing. Have you tried my series on anxiety? The full program is for subscribers but the meditations, and many of the classes, are free. For example, you can listen to my <a href="https://www.doyogawithme.com/content/guided-meditations-stress-anxiety-… Meditations for Stress, Anxiety and Depression</a> for free.</p>

macwhitten
May 14, 2018
Comment:

This is a great first video for someone new to yoga or someone who desires to learn the details correctly. I am so thankful to have found this website. Even though I've been an "avid exerciser" for many years, it's been mostly cardio work - to the now obvious neglect of my core strength and muscle tone. I expect that yoga will be an answer to help me regain the health and flexibility that recent injuries have brought to my personal priority. I jumped in to a yoga class at my gym, but from watching this video, I know now that I need the basics explained and this is the perfect way to help me catch up!