August 10, 2022 3 min read

What does the term "chaturanga" mean in yoga?

Chaturanga in yoga is one of the most widely practised Ashtanga yoga poses, commonly known as chaturanga dandasana. Sanskrit words chatur, which means "four," anga, which means "limb," danda, which means "staff," and asana, which means "position," are used to create the name. Thus, the phrase "four-limbed staff position" can be translated as "chaturanga dandasana."

The practitioner lies in kumbhakasana before assuming this asana (plank pose). The body is lowered until the shoulders and elbows are in line. If necessary, it can be altered by bending the knees.

Low plank is another name for chaturanga in English.

How to do Chaturanga Yoga

  • Start in plank position. Slowly lower your body until it is hovering a few inches over the floor while keeping your elbows directly over your wrists. Hold your back straight.

  • Maintain shoulder and elbow alignment as you raise your chest. Keep your chest up and away from the floor.

  • Put your leg and abdominal muscles to full use.

  • If finding the complete pose is too difficult at this time, kneel first. Then, squat down until your torso is just an inch off the ground. This is called Half Chaturanga.

  • Do not allow your elbows to extend apart the sides. Instead, keep them pointing toward your heels and tightly clasped along your ribcage.

  • Avoid rounding your shoulders or sinking your hips past your legs and upper body as you broaden across your chest, collarbones, and upper back by pressing down through your palms. Breathe.

  • On the inhalation, you can move into an upward-facing dog pose; on the exhale, you can press yourself back up into a cobra, high plank, or downward-facing dog pose.

Tips to consider while doing chaturanga yoga

  • Make sure your shoulders are always higher than your elbows. In chaturanga yoga pose, your shoulders should be higher than they should be lower.
  • You should have a precise 90-degree angle between your upper arms and forearms during chaturanga yoga pose.
  • You will lose the pose's integrity if your arms and shoulders become tired. So take a break and practise Half Chaturanga or Ashtanga Namaskara (Knees-Chest-Chin Pose) for a while.

Benefits of Chaturanga Yoga Pose

Sun Salutations, the foundational asana of vinyasa flow yoga, require the practice of Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose). The position prepares you for various poses, strengthens and tones the entire body, and aids in teaching crucial alignment.

1. Endurance and Abdominal Strength

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It's fantastic to have six-pack abs, no doubt. However, abdominal strength and endurance are about much more than just the abs; they also improve posture, functional strength, sports performance, and much more.

Yoga has emerged as one of the most effective and risk-free techniques for toning the abdominal muscles currently known to mankind. One yoga pose that aids in developing and toning abdominal muscles is chaturanga dandasana.

2. Helps in strengthening of arms 

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Practice the four-limbed staff pose daily for the quickest and most efficient approach to strengthening your arms. You only truly need to hold Chaturanga Dandasana for 30 seconds to develop strong arms and a firm grip.

Both players and non-players in golf can benefit greatly from having strong arms, biceps, and a firm grip. It facilitates everyday motions, item lifting, and athletic activities.

3. Effective for Back Muscles

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People should give Chaturanga Dandasana a chance to help them if they are experiencing any of several back-related issues. The four-limbed staff position strengthens the back muscles and focuses on the upper and lower back. It also helps to align the spine. A strong back is essential for avoiding conditions like spondylitis, bent spines, slipped discs, etc.

4. Makes you stable and flexible

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Physical stability is crucial for reducing falls and the harm they cause. While losing flexibility might increase the risk of developing pain, balance issues, and other problems, the four-limbed Staff position has a dual effect on a practitioner's body, giving them both stability and flexibility. Not bad, huh? One workout that offers the body a variety of benefits. 

5. Body Awareness

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The Chaturanga Dandasana is a fantastic pose that aids in developing a mind-muscle connection. In addition, the position is renowned for strengthening one's understanding of proper body alignment, particularly in the arms.

Perform the four-limbed staff pose for healing, strength, and awareness (Chaturanga Dandasana).

Poses to Prepare for Chaturanga Yoga Pose

The arms and shoulders are both used when performing chaturanga dandasana. It's critical to practise the following postures to strengthen these parts:

  • Mukha Svanasana Urdhva (upward-facing dog)

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  • Bhujangasana(Cobra Stretch)

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  • Phalakasana (simple plank pose)

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To practise yoga safely and effectively, proper form and technique are required. Consult your doctor before practising yoga if you have a history of or current health concerns.

Nikita Parihar
Nikita Parihar


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