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Tips & Resources

Chaturanga Dandasana Pose of the Month

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

CHATURANGA DANDASANA commonly referred to as plank but more accurately translated as the four-limbed- stick pose because the body is poker straight while supported on the hands and feet.

In addition to the physical body work of the previous poses in our pose of the month series, we now ask more of the arms in connecting them with the shoulders, and the legs in engaging the tailbone (sacrum).

Stage 1 How to go into Chaturanga Dandasana for the first time

Helena Porrelli in Adho Mukha Svanasana
Yoga on Tay Teacher Helena Porrelli in Adho Mukha Svanasana

Helena Porrelli in Chaturanga Dandasana
From Adho Mukha Svanasana into Chaturanga Dandasana

With motion from Adho Mukha Svanasana (AMS) i.e. don’t stay in Chaturanga but ‘touch and go’.

  • Start in AMS ensuring strong leg extension, as in TADASANA and feel you can make the back thighs broad from inside out.

  • Open hands well and press down to feel a firmness in the forearms, lift from wrists to lengthen the upper arms and feel shoulders blades connect to back ribs.

  • Maintain this and bend the elbows lowering the whole body towards the floor until pelvis and chest are horizontal, return to AMS or if you find yourself on the floor come onto all 4’s to return to AMS

  • Repeat x3

Please note : While learning this pose alignment can be found by practicing to hover over a bolster for thighs and chest 1a or slightly more challenging thighs only 1b. (see below)

Helena Porrelli in a supported Chaturanga Dandasana
Chaturanga Dandasana with bolder support under thighs and chest
Helena Porrelli in chaturanga dandasana with bolster support under thighs
Chaturanga Dandasana bolster support under thighs only

Stage 2 Staying in Chaturanga Dandasana

As above plus now learn to stay in the pose breathing normally for 3 cycles of breath to start with, building up to 10+

Stage 3 Coming up into Chaturanga Dandasana from the floor

Helena Porrelli in chaturanga dandasana coming up from the floor.
Chaturanga Dandasana coming up from the ground
  • From lying on your tummy on the floor.

  • Position and prepare hands and feet as above but also consider elemental energy: by optimising these 4 points of contact with the ground (earth-pritvhi element) to gain extension for the whole spine by engaging the tailbone.

  • Now lift up from the floor, stay initially for 3 cycles of breath building up your capacity over time.

  • Repeat x3

There is always the option to progress your practice with bolster on back thighs!

Chaturanga dandasana strengthens the joints and muscles of the upper and lower extremities.

Any questions you may have in practising this please ask to your teacher.


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