Four Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)
Four-limbed staff pose or chatarunga dandasana is key part of so many yoga classes. It shows up as part of the vinyasa flow, and acts as a foundation pose for many arm balances.
Builds arm, wrist, back, and abdominal strength.
- Start in plank pose. Make sure to check the alignment in your shoulders, pull your belly button inwards, and tuck your pelvis slightly under.
- Engage your legs. Think about pushing back through your heels to engage your quads. Modify by coming down onto your knees but maintaining a plank-like stance with a straight line from your head to your knees.
- Make sure to distribute the weight in your hands evenly between your wrist, palms, and fingers to avoid any wrist soreness. Make sure your middle fingers are pointing forwards.
- As you exhale, move your shoulders slightly ahead of your wrists and take a bend in your elbows making sure to align them above your wrists. Your goal is to get a 90 degree bend in those elbows, but this might not happen at the beginning.
- Keep those elbows by the sides of your torso and don’t let them come out to your sides.
- Be mindful of your tailbone, and tuck it slightly under to avoid that lower-back arch. Keep that core engaged!
- Keep your gaze just ahead of your fingertips.
- Hold. You totally got this!
Use your knees throughout the pose, and keep a straight line from the crown of your head to whatever part of you is touching the floor (knees or toes). Take a smaller bend in your elbow until you are ready to come down low enough while maintaining the integrity in your spine.