Building Up To Chaturanga Dandasana

4 min read

This is one of those “oh brother” poses for many, many people. So many people have a hard time with Chaturanga Dandasana, and there are full workshops dedicated to just this one pose. To me, that puts it right up there with the ever-humbling Handstand.

Chaturanga is a posture that deserves respect. As with all other poses, it’s possible if you break it down. You will feel more confident and stronger in this pose with regular practice and the right guidance.

What you need to know before your trip

1. The mindset is important. “I cannot” does not work. You can. You can. It may take some time, effort, and dedication, but you can. All you need is the right guidance. You could print out this article, watch a few videos, or ask your teacher next time for some tips.

2. The idea of stacking joints is a fundamental part of yoga. For example, the Warriors position stacks the knee above the ankle. In standing poses, we stack our hips over the foot. And in all plank variations, the shoulder is stacked over the wrist. In Chaturanga, we stack the ankles above the toes and the elbows above the wrists.

3. You will feel lighter the more you tighten/tend your muscles.

Build up to the Pose

As we build up to Chaturanga, we need to practice postures that require core strength and joint stacking. Chaturanga requires whole-body strength, not just the upper body. So, work on some holds to help strengthen your leg muscles.

Plank Side Plank Boat and Up Dog are my top recommendations.

Start by working with these movements.

Sphinx Lifts

They are also great for arm alignment and stacking. This will help you remember how 90 degrees at the elbow joint feels. As you begin in Sphinx Pose, make sure that your elbows are under your shoulders. Lift your hips and hold them for three breaths. Then, relax your hips to the mat.

Repeat for five reps. This simulates the Chaturanga and strengthens your back.

Swimming Dolphins

It’s basically stepping the arms from Down Dog to Dolphin Pose and then back again several times in a line. This exercise teaches you to stabilize your shoulders while building upper body strength.

Mountain Non-Climbers

This is a mountain climber without the leg bends. Plank is the basic position. Keep your arms straight and lean forward so that your chest reaches your fingertips. Lean backward again.

Repeat this five times to get used to the leaning motion you need for a strong and aligned Chaturanga.

Some Specific Things to Think About When Setting Up

1. You can also try lifting your knees later when you are warm and your muscles are ready. You can try to lift your knees later when your muscles have warmed up and you are ready.

2. Chaturanga Dandasana calls for you to lean forward before you bend your elbows in Plank.

3. Stack. Line up your elbows over your wrists so that your arms have a bend of about 90 degrees.

4. Squeeze. Always squeeze your elbows into your ribs. This supports you, and it activates your triceps to give you more control.

5. To keep your wrists lighter and your spine straight, your core must be pulled in. Your abdominals support your spine.

6. It is important to line up your body in a straight, horizontal line. This should start at the shoulders and end at the point where you touch the floor. You can practice your swayback by pulling in your belly and practicing in front of the mirror.

When you practice on your feet, instead of knees or squats, your hips and your chest should meet the floor as you lower yourself. You should reduce your knees if your hips are the first to touch the mat. You will eventually be able to tell by the way it feels. Then, you can focus on keeping your neck as long as possible by tucking in your chin.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours