The word Chaturanga means four-limb-staff-pose, which is a low plank. When correctly done in this yoga pose the body should resemble a rod or staff with the spine in one straight line. You have to be like a coffee table, low and sturdy. Imagine balancing teacups on different parts of your body.
This yoga pose strengthens and tones your arms, wrists, core and lower back muscles as well as strengthening one’s grip. It increases body stability by deepening awareness of body alignment, especially in the arms and spine leading to better posture.
The Chaturanga is part of the Sun Salutation Sequence and is often practised during Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Power Yoga classes. It requires patience and control to learn to enact this pose flawlessly and steer clear of injuries. When executed correctly, this pose is a powerful body toner.
The Chaturanga should not be performed if you experience sharp or chronic pain in the shoulder, elbow or wrist or if you suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. When pregnant the full pose should not be performed. In this case, it is safer to do a regular plank only or a half Chaturanga pose.
When this pose is performed to the full extent too soon it is easy to injure yourself. Chaturanga requires a lot of strength in order for it to be performed correctly. To be safe, practise a half Chaturanga or plank pose until you can support your full body weight correctly. Your shoulders should not drop below the height of your elbows. It is better to keep your shoulders too high rather than too low when performing this pose.
- Bend the knees and place hands flat on the mat. Step your feet towards the back of the mat moving into a high plank position.
- Align your shoulders and elbows above each other and your heel over the toes.
- Keep your thighs pressed together and navel drawn inward.
- Upon exhaling bend your arms slowly to a 90-degree angle, keep your elbows above the wrists and arms hugged to the sides of your torso.
- Keep the chest broad and your shoulders must not droop so keep them engaged along the spine.
- Do not let the elbows slide back when you are bending your arms.
- Exit the Chaturanga pose by lowering the body all the way to the mat and rest or lower the body fully down to the mat and push into an upward dog pose.
Yoga is the union between mind, spirit and body and therefore requires more than just bodily strength. It requires patience and acceptance. It trains your mind to be self-aware, reach a higher consciousness and self-regulate. The physical benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, a balanced metabolism, weight reduction and healthy cardio and circulatory system.
In simple terms, yoga makes you feel better spiritually and physically and unites the mind and body as one creating a peaceful union between the two rivals. Want to learn more about Yoga? Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Yoga Certification Course will teach you this and so much more! For more information about this and our other online fitness courses, please visit our website.