Are You Doing Chaturanga Safely?
At Yoga Pod Dallas, we pride ourselves on being a yoga studio for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. We know the barriers to yoga, and we do our best to minimize them for our newer-to-yoga students.
Part of growing a beginner yoga practice is learning about safe and proper alignment in foundational poses. It’s not about doing a pose well —it’s about doing it with integrity.
Chaturanga Dandasana (the yoga push-up) might be the most imperative pose to master. And, again, by “master,” we don’t mean doing Chaturanga perfectly — we mean doing it safely.
In another blog with yoga for beginners tips, we gave advice for proper Chaturanga alignment. Now, we want to take a step back and focus on how to set up Chaturanga correctly.
During your next podFLOW1 or podFLOW 2 class, focus on one or all of these tips as you flow through your Chaturanga Dandasana!
1. Align Your Shoulders, Elbows, and Wrists
In English, “Chaturanga Dandasana” translates to “four-limbed staff pose.” While yoga instructors rarely use the English translation, the visual is helpful. Think of your body as a staff: straight, rigid, and strong.
This alignment is particularly important for your arms; after all, they represent two of the staffs. You want to stack your wrists, elbows, and shoulders in line. This means that your wrists should be directly under your shoulders. If they’re too far forward, you risk collapsing into your shoulder girdle. If they’re too far toward your legs, you also put undue strain on your shoulder joint.
Your hands also matter here. You want to make sure your fingers are pointing straight ahead of you, as this encourages proper alignment throughout your wrists and elbows.
2. Derive Power Through Your Core
Because it’s a tricep push-up, we tend to assume the power of the pose comes from our arms. While this is partially true, the core muscles are actually just as integral to a safe Chaturanga.
Yoga instructors cue “engage your core” all the time, but what does this actually mean? To engage your core, think about sucking your belly button toward your spine. This action activates the core muscles and creates an abdominal lock, making it much easier for you to do a strong push-up.
3. Use Your Feet, Too
Aside from your hands, your feet are the other two staffs that comprise four-limbed staff pose. Try not to forget about them! As you set up Chaturanga, make sure that your feet are actively flexing and engaged. To encourage engagement through your legs (which, believe it or not, also help for push-ups), imagine that your ankles are magnetized toward one another. You don’t need to exaggerate the motion, but at least use the image to remember your legs!
Practice at Yoga Pod Dallas
At our yoga studio in downtown Dallas, we’re all about informative and supportive instruction. In our podFLOW 1 class especially, our instructors demonstrate Chaturanga push-ups and show great set-up technique.
If you’re developing a yoga for beginners practice, join our studio today! Sign-up online to take advantage of $30 For 30 Days at Yoga Pod Dallas!