Chaturanga Dandasana

While it is fun to dabble in the advanced asanas and challenge your body in various arm balances and inversions, I have always found that the foundation is very important. Hence, in this current asana that I will be talking about, I will be touching on one of the foundational asana: Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose).
Being able to master the Chaturanga Dandasana and pushing the boundaries of this asana in terms of duration of holding the pose will eventually open up doors to a variety of arm balances. However, it is also one of the most common pose that is done wrongly. Doing a pose wrong repetitively will lead to a habit. This will eventually cause repetitive motion injuries (cuff rotator injuries). 
1) Getting into the Pose

  • From High Plank Pose, shoulders should be aligned slightly in front of elbows and balls of feet are firmly pressed into the ground. Imagine that the body is lengthened to be a straight line from the crown of your head to the heels of your feet


  • On inhalation, actively engage your quads and draw the shoulder heads back, actively engaging your core
  • On exhalation, gently bend your elbows and lower your body such that your arms form a 90 degrees angle

Verbal cues

  • Elbows are hugged to the side of the body, forming a 90 degrees angle
  • Shoulders are pulled back away from ears
  • Shoulders are in line with elbows and not dipping lower
  • Shine your chest forward
  • Engage your core and tighten the abdominal muscles
  • Tuck your tailbone so the legs, hips and torso are one straight line

2) Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Don’t let the buttocks stick up


  • Shoulders should not sink lower than the elbows


  • Letting the belly sink towards the ground (Stress created on lower back)


  • Shoulders rolling forward

3) Modifications

  • Bent Knees in Chaturanga
  • Using two blocks to support weight from the shoulders
  • Strap to keep the elbows from splaying out

That’s all for now! So the next time you move to Chaturanga in your Vinyasa, do remember to consciously take note of these pointers 🙂
Rachel Pan Yijun
200 Hour Yoga TTC (Weekend Batch)

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