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.

How to:

  1. Start in plank pose. Make sure to check the alignment in your shoulders, pull your belly button inwards, and tuck your pelvis slightly under.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Keep those elbows by the sides of your torso and don’t let them come out to your sides.
  6. Be mindful of your tailbone, and tuck it slightly under to avoid that lower-back arch. Keep that core engaged!
  7. Keep your gaze just ahead of your fingertips.
  8. 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.