Many of you may know the Four-Limbed Staff pose (Chaturanga Dandasana) from going through sun salutations in a Vinyasa class. When I was just a beginner yogi, I never looked forward to doing these but I'm so glad that I didn't let my mind talk me out of it. Practicing my chaturangas definitely toned up my upper body exactly the way I wanted it. Sexy looking arms? YES!
Benefits of Four-Limbed Staff Pose
Just like your generic push up, this pose strengthens the arms, shoulders, and the core. Chaturanga stretches muscles in the back of the leg as well and it's great for warming up and preparing for awesome arm balances.
Four-Limbed Staff Pose Step-By-Step
- Bring your hands shoulder width apart; stacking the shoulders, elbows, wrists.
- Your feet should be hip width apart and come to the balls of your feet, pressing your heels back.
- Engage your core and keep your hips lifted creating a line of energy from the crown of your head through your heels.
- Squeeze elbows into your body as you slowly lower down with control. Make sure that your elbows bend only to a 90 degree angle. So your shoulders are at the same level with your elbows. No lower than that because you can hurt yourself over time.
- Roll over your toes to come up to upward facing dog.
Remember that the neck stays neutral. Your gaze is to the floor. Push through all ten fingers and knuckles to lift the chest up and your shoulders should be away from your ears. I usually like to kick up a notch and do a variation with one leg lifted.