You may hear 'chaturanga' and think 'okay a yogi push-up' but it is SO much more than that. Read on to see why this is actually an advanced pose along with some options you can take during your vinyasa.
There is so much more than what meets the eye...
chatur - four | anga - limb | danda - staff | asana - pose
also known as Four-Limbed Staff Pose
WHY IS IT CHALLENGING
Chaturanga Dandasana is a popular yoga pose, or asana, that's often included in Sun Salutations and Vinyasa yoga classes. This pivotal advanced pose is often misunderstood, it is not merely a push-up. The Chaturanga is instrumental—therefore it's extremely important to practice properly. The repetition can actually be harmful for students who are not practicing the pose safely and with correct and thoughtful alignment.
It is an advanced pose that requires all over body engagement that involves: core engagement, balance and upper body strength.
Four-Limbed Staff Pose boosts energy, fights fatigue, and builds confidence and empowerment. It also strengthens your core, shoulders, arms, wrists, thighs, and ankles. It also aids in digestion, body alignment, confidence and mental strength.
To build strength in your legs, core, and upper body. It is a great prep pose for other arm balances. (even chaturanga variations!)
The chaturanga is believed to be created by Sri Krishnamacharya (1888 – 1989) an Indian yoga teacher, ayurvedic healer and scholar. He is seen as one of the most important gurus of modern yoga, and is often called "the father of modern yoga" for his wide influence on the development and refining of postures, sequencing them optimally, and ascribing therapeutic value to specific asanas. In his effort to make yoga accessible to the masses, he developed breath to movement in posture.
If your body requires some extra support in this pose give one of the Variations a try. Remember that while yoga is for everyone, not all poses are for all people (and that's okay!). Such as those with shoulder/wrist/elbow injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, or if you are pregnant.
- Take one layer at a time
- Shoulders above or at elbow level
- Elbows hugged tightly to your sides
- Engage legs, pulling the kneecaps up
- Open up through the collar bones
- Core is engaged
- Send energy back through heels
- One long line of energy from the heels all the way to the crown of the head
- Flowy flow through the movements
- Lower shoulders below the elbows
- Open elbows out to the sides wide
- Drop the belly / arch the back
- Gaze up to the sky / dropping the chest
- Childs Pose
- 8 Limb Pose
- Full Plank
- Forearm Plank
- Plank from the knees
- Knee Chaturanga
Whatever pose you choose - know you are still working the body, building strength, and listening to your limits.