How to Chaturanga

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Chaturanga and the poses surrounding it in sequence are very important in most Yoga classes. Getting the basics right is essential to building strength and avoiding injury. Take this tutorial to learn how to safely execute this pose. 

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The dreaded Chaturanga.

Chaturanga is an important part of our Sun Salutations and a fantastic progress tracker in your practice. 

Learning how to Chaturanga properly and safely incorporates a lot of upper body and shoulder strengthening, as well as making sure the core is strong and engaged. 

We start off by learning knees-chest-and-chin to develop that strength in the shoulders and to bring awareness to consciously lowering the body down. Only once you have figured out knees-chest-and-chin and built the strength to practice it should you move onto lowering into Chaturanga. 

It's very important to make sure that your plank pose is strong and steady before you go into lowering to Chaturanga. It's imperative that you do not sink your hips down but to keep your core engaged and your hips in line with your shoulders as you lower. If your hips sink down you have a very high risk of injuring your lower back. 


This tutorial will walk you through step-by-step and safely help you to build the strength and confidence to practice this pose using different props and techniques.   

Practising knees, chest and chin and chaturanga, as well as dolphin pose, will definitely strengthen your shoulders. Dolphin pose, in particular, is a fantastic pose to tracker your own progress. Take dolphin pose by bringing your elbows down onto the floor, bringing your elbows slightly closer than you shoulders. Interlace your fingers here and cross your thumbs over one another, squeezing your palms together. Pressing your elbows, forearms and wrists down, tuck your toes and lift your bum up. Start to walk your feet slightly closer to your face. Hold this pose while breathing deeply and fully. If you feel like you really, really, really need to come down, try to hold the pose for just two breaths longer. In this way, you’ll start to build the strength in your shoulders. HOMEWORK: Do this while watching TV at home!! Look out for our Yoga for Should Strength Course coming soon to the Members Platform.

Practice, practice, practice. There is no quick fix here. Work on that core strength every day. The physical practice of Yoga itself helps to develop core strength, so get on your mat! There are also many targeted core strengthening exercises. We have mini-module dedicated to this live on our member’s platform now. Again, plank pose and dolphin pose are amazing for building core strength, as well as boat pose and knee lifts in down dog.


Why do we need to do chaturanga?

Chaturanga is a necessary part of our sun salutations. It is a transitional pose that gets us from our standing poses onto the ground for back bending. Even though it is a transitional pose it is such a necessary pose in our practice to help us build core and upper body strength so that we can get into other poses such as arm balances, inversions and standing poses with more strength, grace and ease. Once you understand how the muscles are supposed to be working in chaturanga it brings a lightness and strength to your practice that is difficult to get without learning chaturanga.

How do I build shoulder strength?
How do I strengthen my wrists?

Because we don’t spend any time taking weight into our wrists they may start to hurt after your first plank pose. This is perfectly normal. You can strengthen your wrists by practising down dog and plank pose correctly. Engaging your hands strongly, distributing the weight through your hands and NOT taking the weight directly into your wrists. The more you practice these weight-bearing poses, the stronger your wrists will get. If at any point you are in pain, come out of the pose and rest.  It may take some time to develop that strength but if you perservere it will definitely come. 

How do I build core strength?