Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff)
In Sanskrit Chaturanga means the four limbs. This asana can thus be performed as follows;
- Perform the Adho Mukha Svanasana then the Plank pose.
- Now firm your shoulder blades against your back ribs and press your tailbone toward your pubis.
- Exhaling slowly lower your torso and legs to a few inches above and parallel to the floor. There's a tendency in this pose for the lower back to sway towards the floor and the tailbone to poke up toward the ceiling.
- Therefore throughout your stay in this position, keep the tailbone firmly in place and the legs very active and turned slightly inward. Draw the pubis toward the navel.
- Maintain the space between the shoulder blades broad. Don't let the elbows splay out to the sides; hold them in by the sides of the torso and push them back toward the heels. Press the bases of the index fingers firmly to the floor. Lift the top of the sternum and your head to look forward.
- Chaturanga Dandasana is even a position in the Sun Salutation sequence. One can practice this pose individually anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds. Release with an exhalation. Either lay yourself lightly down onto the floor or push strongly back to Adho Mukha Svanasana, lifting through the top thighs and the tailbone.
The benefits of this asana are as follows;
- Strengthens the arms, the wrists, and the abdomen.
- Increases balance in the body.
- Tones and contracts the abdominal organs.
- Increases the strength and stability of muscles including triceps, biceps, pectoralis major in chest, abdominal, deltoid, and scapular muscles.
Precautionary measures for this asana are:
- Must not be practiced if suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Should also be avoided in pregnancy.