Skip Nav
Beginner Fitness Tips
A Trainer Gets Brutally Honest About Why You Aren't Seeing Results
Get Fit 2018
2018 Clean-Eating Plan: Recipes, Shopping Lists, Menus, and More!
Healthy Eating Tips
13 Weird Ways Going Vegan Changed My Health

Chaturanga Tips

4 Tips For a Safe and Powerful Chaturanga


Source: Louisa Larson Photography

Chaturanga (Four-Limbed Staff Pose) is a staple in any kind of flow sequence, but new students and veterans alike sometimes have trouble getting the most of this pose. Even if you already possess a serious amount of core and upper-body strength, sometimes one quick shift or adjustment can help you reach the full potential of this energizing pose. After grappling with my own issues with the pose — namely that I hated it and never thought I'd get it right — I have built a beautiful relationship with Chaturanga. Interested in making a similar shift in your practice? Here are four tips to help you achieve Chaturanga greatness.

  1. Arms should form a right angle: For proper support, your elbows should be directly over your wrist, even as you're moving from Plank to Chaturanga. This can be difficult to gauge on your own in a yoga studio without mirrors; if this is the case for you and you're concerned about your alignment, then try the pose in front of a mirror at home.
  2. Heels and heart go forward: Don't be afraid to really move your body forward when transitioning to Chaturanga! By really reaching with your heart and heels simultaneously, you'll feel far more energized and powerful in the pose than if you just drop your core to the floor from Plank. You're also putting yourself in the perfect spot to transition to a beautiful Upward Facing Dog without taking your hands off the mat.
  3. Don't let your shoulders round: This has been the toughest tip for me to integrate into my practice. It's easy to hunch up and round your shoulders forward when making the move to Chaturanga. Instead, really make a point to draw your shoulder blades together, and keep your heart open.
  4. Get your head right: Once you've transitioned from Plank to Chaturanga, it's important to keep your neck safe. Gaze only slightly forward, just a few inches ahead of your fingertips. Looking up toward the front of the room can cause unwanted tension in your neck, but keeping a neutral line of energy in your neck will help protect your spine and keep your back and body strong. Once you're ready to move into Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog), that's the time to gaze forward or take it up a notch with an even deeper backbend.
Image Source: Thinkstock
What Is Good Running Form?
What Is a Wellness Getaway?
Benefits of Yoga
London Chocolate Meditation and Yoga Class
Are Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga Good for You
Benefits of Foam Rolling
Worst Workouts For Weight Loss
Yoga Sequence to Relieve Lower Back Pain
Lower-Back Stretches
Workout Tips
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds