TUTORIAL: Four-Limbed Staff Pose

Four-Limbed Staff Pose


Kiana Ng Yoga

Chaturanga Dandasana

Chaturanga is one of those poses that you might have a love/hate relationship with. It’s hard & requires a lot of strength! It’s very popular in the style of Vinyasa yoga where in between each pose there’s a series of chaturanga – up dog – down dog. It’s also one of the key poses for building strength and finding success in many arm balances.

Alignment Principles
  • Begin in Plank Pose with wrists under shoulders and heels over the balls of the feet
  • Press the soles and heels of the feet back as you lengthen through the spine and crown of the head to create a solid line in the body from head to toe
  • Engage the quads & lengthen the tailbone towards your heels as you draw the belly up and in
  • Cinch the front ribs together and in towards your spine as you roll the tops of your shoulders up then down your back, leaving a broadening through the collarbone and space in the chest
  • Exhale to shift your weight forwards slightly into your toes and lower your body down to hover, keeping your elbows hugging in towards your sides and not allowing your seat to stick up in the air or hips to sag towards the floor
  • Stop once your elbows hit 90 degrees and chest is inline with elbows
  • Gaze will be on your mat slightly out in front of you
Prep. Poses
  • Phalakasana (Plank)
  • Bidalasana/Marjaryasana (Cat/Cow)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down Dog)
  • Urdha Mukha Svanasana (Up Dog)
  • Lower knees to mat when lowering down for a more accessible version
  • Use a block between thighs or shins to create energy in legs
  • Loop strap around upper arms to keep them from splaying out & for support in keeping chest elevated, elbows bent to 90 degrees
  • Place block underneath sternum for support in keeping chest elevated, elbows bent to 90 degrees

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