Four-Limbed Staff Pose
Photo of Maggie Anderson taken by Maggie Anderson
We most commonly utilize Chaturanga Dandasana as a main component of the traditional Sun Salutation Sequence. This is a tricep push-up and can be challenging to maintain this pose when you first begin. Even the most experienced Yogi and Yogini have difficulty in this pose. You may modify this pose by placing the knees down on the mat or skipping this pose completely if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This pose is great for strengthening the arms (triceps and biceps), wrists, as well as tones the abdomen.
Directions on how to come into the pose:
Begin in Downdog pose and slowly lower hips down into Plank pose. From here, inhale and on your exhale, bend your elbows as you lower your whole body down. Keep the elbows hugging in. Hover your body parallel just above the mat. Try to avoid lowering the back and keeping the hips and tailbone sticking up higher to the sky above as is the tendency in this pose. Keep the tailbone firmly in place and the legs very active and turned slightly inward. Maintaining that straight line of energy from your head to your heels. Draw the pubis toward the navel. Broaden space between should blades. Keep elbows hugging in by the sides of the torso, pushing them back towards the heels. Maintain good alignment by stacking your joints, having your elbows over your wrists.
A modified variation of this pose is to lower your knees to the mat and work more on strengthening the arms, back and legs.
Hover here for 10 to 30 seconds building heat in the center of your body. To release, either lay yourself lightly down onto the floor in a prone position or, as in the tradition Sun Salutation, push forward slowly rolling over the balls of your feet onto the tops of your feet and shift the torso slightly forward and up into Updog.
When not to do this pose or to modify/Contraindications:
You may need avoid or modify this pose if you have Carpel Tunnel Syndrome or if you are pregnant. You may modify this pose by placing the knees down on the mat.
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