Chatarunga Dandasana | Yoga Fundamentals


Chaturanga Dandasana strengthens and tones the whole body including the wrists, arms, abdominal muscles, and lower back. While it may be difficult to accomplish at first, this pose prepares the body for more challenging arm balances and strengthens the muscles surrounding the spine. If this feels too difficult at first, lower down to the knees to avoid straining the lower back while still building strength and muscle memory.


How to:

  1. From a High Plank position, shift your weight forward and start to bend elbows. Squeeze elbows into your side, and keep elbows stacked directly over your wrists.

  2. Lower down half-way until shoulders and wrists are in line.

  3. Engage your core, keep pelvis tucked in, and draw the navel in towards the spine.

  4. Keep neck neutral and gaze down at the ground.

Avoid:

  • Avoid lifting the hips too high or letting the hips sink, this strains the lower back and releases the core muscles. Instead, keep your hips in line with your shoulders. Imagine a straight line of energy extending from ankles towards the top of your head. If this is too difficult, modify by lowering the knees down.

  • Avoid tucking the chin into the chest or lifting gaze up. Instead, keep the neck long and neutral and gaze down at the floor. A neutral gaze is about 6 inches to a foot in front of you.

  • Check your hand position to avoid placing strain on your wrists. Your pointer fingers should be parallel to one another pointing straight ahead or slightly turned out. This will help to broaden the collarbones and stabilize the shoulders.


Modifications:

  • Lower the knees to the floor

  • Lower down all the way to the ground

  • Low Cobra


Muscles Worked:

  • Abdominals

  • Back

  • Shoulders

  • Legs

  • Arms

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