Enhance self worth and personal power with this invigorating pose
Advance your entire body with Chaturanga Dandasana– the fastest way to discover confidence and build core strength while laying the foundation for more advanced poses. It’s also the most easily forgotten of the asanas, usually brisked over while flowing through Sun Salutations.
Here are the main cues to keep in mind to master your Chaturanga Dandasana.
1. Elbows Above Wrists
This is contrary to the standard push-up, which requires shoulders over wrists and splaying your elbows out on the decline. In Chaturanga, your body it set up slightly forward, creating more weight bearing in the lower body. This way, on an exhale, you may slowly lower down as the elbows hug into your side ribs. Check in that your shoulders are released away from the ears, elbows over wrists.
To incorporate this into your yoga practice, when you’re in high plank position, take an inhale. Shift forward with your body (about three inches) so your hands are under your lower ribs. Exhale as you slowly descend down, until the upper arm and torso are parallel, creating a 90 degree “L” shape.
2. Pelvis is Neutral
Check in with your hip bones. Although you may feel like this is an upper body strength pose, if done right, Chaturanga Dandasana is actually a full body asana, with the body weight spread out evenly. Your pelvic area shouldn’t be sunken in or raised, but rather in neutral position with the core engaged, navel towards spine. You can always modify by dropping to your knees to keep the integrity of the pose.
To accomplish this, lift the pit of the abdomen and draw your buttocks towards your heels, creating a straight line from the crown of your head all the way to the heels of your feet.
3. Legs Active, Pushing Back
Your feet bring energy to the lower portion of your body by pressing out and back through the heels. Quadriceps, hamstrings and calves all work together here for straight legs. First, check in with the heels and bringing them in towards your midline, feet perpendicular to the floor.
Practice this by engaging the anterior and posterior muscles of the legs, lifting your inner thighs towards the ceiling, and push your heels towards the back wall.
Chaturanga Dandasana is an excellent pose to work on arm, back, core and leg strength. It can be modified by dropping to your knees, using blocks, or my personal favorite– a strap. Although a more intermediate pose, no matter what level you’re at, practicing often will surely provide confidence and self esteem, as Chaturanga is thought to activate the manipura, or solar plexus, chakra.
So inhale and exhale with confidence as you arrive at your perfect Chaturanga!