Chaturanga Dandasana or Four-Limbed Staff Pose, also known as Low Plank, is a Yoga asana, in which a straight body parallel to the ground is supported by the toes and palms, with elbows at a right angle. Sanskrit: चतुरङ्ग दण्डासन; Chatur – Four, Anga – Limbs, Danda – Staff, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As – chaht-tour-ANG-ah don-DAHS-anna
The Staff Pose or the Dandasana is a pose dedicated to the primary support system of our body – the spine. If carried out the right way, this asana is meant to resemble a staff, with the spine being in one straight line. The Chaturanga Dandasana is based on similar lines, but it involves your limbs too.
The Chaturanga Dandasana resembles a push-up, but there are some significant differences between the two. You must make sure your body is aligned correctly, or you could injure yourself.
Everything You Need To Know About The Chaturanga Dandasana
- What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
- How To Do The Chaturanga Dandasana
- Precautions And Contraindications
- Beginner’s Tip
- Advanced Pose Variation
- The Benefits Of The Four-Limbed Staff Pose
- The Science Behind The Chaturanga Dandasana
- Preparatory Poses
- Follow-Up Poses
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty.
It is best to practice yoga early in the morning. But, in case you have other chores to run, you can do so in the evening as well. Just remember to leave a good gap between your meals and your practice.
Style: Vinyasa/ Ashtanga
Duration: 30 to 60 seconds
Strengthens: Arms, Wrists
How To Do The Chaturanga Dandasana
- To begin this asana, ease into the Plank Pose, ensuring the outer edge of your shoulders is in the same line as your middle fingers on the floor.
- Spread out your fingers such that they are wide and slightly curled. Grip the floor with the corners of your hands so that a small pocket of air is trapped between your palms and the mat.
- Inhale and stretch from the heels to the crown of your head.
- Exhale and lower your body slowly into half a push-up, such that the upper arms are parallel to the floor.
- The tips of your elbows must lightly touch the sides of your ribs as you lower yourself to maintain a 90-degree angle in the crook of the elbows.
- Hold the asana, but continue to stretch from the heel to the crown. Your shoulders must be drawn in and plunged into the back.
- Exhale and release. You could either come into the Plank Pose or the Adho Mukha Svanasana.
Precautions And Contraindications
These are a few points of caution you must keep in mind before you do this asana.
- Avoid practicing this asana if you have the following conditions.
a. Carpal tunnel syndrome
c. Lower back Injury
d. Wrist injury
e. Shoulder Injury
- Also, avoid doing this asana if you find it impossible to draw in and integrate your shoulder blades into your back.
As a beginner, it might be hard to do the Chaturanga Dandasana because you need first to make your legs, arms, and back strong enough to support you. So, until you gain that strength from practicing this asana, do this. Once you assume the Plank Pose, lower your knees to the floor. Then, exhale and lower your sternum, such that it is an inch or two above the ground.
Advanced Pose Alteration
To intensify the pose, roll from the balls of your feet to the heels and move the torso forward. When you do this, you will bring your hands beside your waist, and this will make the pose more challenging.
The Benefits Of The Four-Limbed Staff Pose
These are some amazing benefits of Chaturanga Dandasana.
- It makes your wrists strong and more flexible.
- Muscles are built in your back, shoulders, and arms.
- Your core muscles are stretched and toned.
- It is a great warm-up pose for arm balances and inversions.
The Science Behind The Chaturanga Dandasana
This asana tones and strengthens the arms, wrists, lower back, and the abdominal muscles. Thus, it prepares your body for the more challenging poses. Just like a traditional push-up, it strengthens the muscles around the spine and improves posture. It takes both patience and discipline to correct yourself in this posture so that you can avoid injuries. Once you can accomplish this, you will see this pose as a powerful body toner.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Now that you know how to do Chaturanga Dandasana, what are you waiting for? Alignment is everything – learn it, or suffer. This is what this asana teaches you.
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