Chaturanga dandasana

Four-limbed (chaturanga) staff pose (dandasana) teaches us the power of activating our limbs! All of them…most people naturally focus on the arms, forgetting about the legs in this transition pose. But pulling up through the quad muscles and sucking in the core (uddiyana bandha) is essential to lowering down with control AND to avoid dumping into the lower back as you transition from chaturanga into upward facing dog.

My favourite cue for this asana is: push your heels to the back wall! Focus on that and your quads will activate more than you realised they could. And when it comes to the upper body: keep your elbows tucked in towards your body. 

Getting into the asana: 

  • Starting in plank pose, lower down with elbows in and heels pushed back (and active quads)
  • Sucking in the core (uddiyana bandha) always
  • Don’t go too low, stop around half way between where you were in plank and the ground
  • Gaze point should be just slightly ahead so the back of your next is relaxed

Ultimately you want to start in and maintain one straight line throughout your body so your bum isn’t sticking out higher or dipping lower than your shoulders.