Yogalife Studios are so thrilled to see all these yogis, new and old, hitting their mats like it's going out of style. Whether you're new to the practice or a seasoned vet, chaturanga dandasana (or low plank/push-up) is one of those tricky poses that is easily done incorrectly. Why? BECAUSE IT'S HARD!
This pose takes strength, breath, alignment and ZERO ego. It is truly one of those poses that you need to master the modified version before attempting to move on. Your shoulders will thank you!
Here are some tips to keep your chaturanga strong and healthy:
- In order to do the full version of the pose, you must have sufficient arm, shoulder, and abdominal strength. These parts work together in a complicated way to create the perfect alignment here.
- If you don't have the strength to do the full version of this pose, do it from your knees! Let go of the ego and listen to your body.
- Hands under elbows
- Elbows under shoulders
- Abdominals and low ribs pulled in; core engaged
- Thighs pushing up
- Heels pushing back
- Hug all your muscles into the midline of the body
- Roll WAY forward on your toes. Even more than you think you should. (This ensures you will lower down with your arms in a 90° angle.)
- Now begin to lower down until your arms form a 90° angle and stop just at that point.
- Keep your core VERY engaged just as in plank—abdominals and ribs really pulled in
- HUG your elbows into the sides of your body
- Keep the tops of your shoulders pulled back away from your ears and pointing straight forward, not drooping down.
- Imagine that you’re trying to make your clavicles SMILE. In other words, broaden through the chest. “Smile your clavicles”.
Adapted from Mind Body Green