Strengthens arms, shoulders, back, core and quadriceps
Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Sanskrit: Chaturanga Dandasana)
- Start on hands and knees and then move into Plank. Wrists are under shoulders and you’re engaging quadriceps and pressing through heels as if you’re stepping on the floor. Core is engaged and drawing in towards spine. Shoulder blades are sliding down back with no ditch or dipping between shoulder blades. Actively press palms into floor with shoulders out of ears. Arms are internally hugging in. Neck is in alignment with spine and you're breathing.
- To move into Chaturanga, take a deep breath in and press into toes which moves your shoulders beyond wrists. This will help protect the shoulders! On the exhale, slowly bend arms with elbows aiming back and arms brushing ribcage. Lower the body as if it were a long board, stopping with elbows at 90 degrees. Sternum is reaching forward with collarbone widening. Gaze is slightly in front of you (~6-8 inches).
- From this pose, you will either come all the way down to the floor or move into Upward Facing Dog (we’ll save that pose for later).
- Tips – Avoid lifting the rear too high and dipping in shoulders; keep the core engaged to prevent a sway in the back.
- Modifications – come into a modified Plank with knees on mat with hips forward. From the top of the head to the back of the knees should be one straight diagonal line. To come into a modified Chaturanga, simply lower in the same manner with wrists directly under shoulders and elbows moving back and hugging ribs.
Namaste – The light within me honors the grace and wisdom within you.