Flying Crow Pose
March 30, 2015
Garland Pose
March 30, 2015

Four-Limbed Staff Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

, , ,

Pose Type

,

Sanskrit

Chaturanga Dandasana
(chaht-tour-ANG-ah don-DAHS-anna)
chatur = four
anga = limb
danda = staff

BENEFITS

  • Strengthens the arms, wrists, and shoulders
  • Prepares the body for arm balances
  • Strengthens the core

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Wrist injuries and recent surgeries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Slipped discs, along with other spinal issues
  • Pregnancy

HOW TO

  1. Come into Plank pose. Make sure your hands are aligned beneath your shoulders, and distribute your body weight evenly between your hands and feet.
  2. Exhale and bend at the elbows. Slowly lower your body until it’s parallel to the floor, a few inches above your mat, and your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Hold your elbows in close to your ribs.
  3. Engage your abdomen and thighs to maintain length in the spine. Do not let your shoulders come lower than your elbows. (This will help protect your rotator cuff.)
  4. Lower your gaze so you are looking straight down, keeping your neck in line with your spine.
  5. To release, exhale and push up into Upward-Facing Dog. Beginners may lower down to the abdomen, preparing for Cobra pose.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

  • Knees-Chest-Chin pose
  • Bharmanasana (Tabletop pose)

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Ground down through all four corners of your hands.
  • Reach long through the legs, activating the leg muscles.
  • As you exhale, lower down.
  • Keep your arms hugged in close to your torso.
  • Keep your neck long.

VARIATIONS

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Collapsing hips down
  • Shoulders dipping below elbows
  • Compressing low back
  • Elbows flaring out to the sides