Chaturanga Dandasana, aka four-limbed staff pose, is a fundamental posture in vinyasa flow yoga. This “yoga push-up” is a powerful move that strengthens and engages the whole body from hands to toes, via the core, legs and arms.
Yoga Journal has a great 7-step guide to chaturanga that describes the posture in detail, if you’re not familiar with it. What I want to focus on are three tips that will help you maximise your benefits from this incredible move.
Set up right
To ace chaturanga you need to start strong. You begin in plank pose and it is important that you really connect with each part of your body before you begin the posture. Be sure your core is rock sold, your quads are tight, and your arms are close to your sides. You want your body to be a straight line, no sagging or sticking your bum up.
Control the breath
Chaturanga is a dynamic strength posture. Its challenging nature can make it easy to forget about your breathing — which is exactly why it is so important! Focus on a long, smooth inhale as you draw your body upwards and an exhale of equal length as you lower yourself. Your movements should follow the breath, not vice versa.
Work from the core
Chaturanga may look like it’s all about upper body strength, but it isn’t. The heart of the posture is a strong plank pose. To do your best chaturanga, you have to focus on your core and consciously engage it throughout the posture.
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