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body geometry // chaturanga

Chaturanga Dandasana

(chaht-tour-ANG-ah don-DAHS-anna)
chaturanga = four limbs (chatur = four
anga = limb)
danda = staff

Even in classes when there is no OM-ing to be heard or talk of tradition, this pose always gets its Sanskrit name and it always shows up in one way or another in a vinyasa class. That’s because, It’s one of the most foundational asana that helps us to strengthen both core and upper body, which then goes on to empower all our more advanced asana.

 However, it’s also one of the most treacherous! We see so many screwed up shoulders and wrists from funky Chaturanga alignment, and don’t even get me started on floppy caterpillar slumps! It’s SO important that we honour where we’re at in this pose, the ‘full pose’ requires a heap of strength, stamina and patience!!

So, lets dive in.


Shape in flow

1.    Come into downward facing dog, then into plank pose. Ensure your hands are below your shoulders and take your knees to the floor. Keep your hips slightly forward from your knees.

2.    Inhale deeply and tone the abdominals. As you exhale lower your torso to a point that you can hold (even if it’s only 1cm) Take 5 breaths here.

3.    Inhale, press up to straight arms. Repeat the process to build strength and integrity.

4.    Rest in child’s pose when you are complete.

Over time you will be able to lower the torso to the point where your shoulders and elbows are level. Then we practice with straight legs.


Shape with integrity

-       Keep the tailbone / lower back long and the core engaged.

-       Stay broad in the upper back / shoulder blades

-       Hug your elbows to the side of your ribcage, don’t let them splay out

This pose can be very challenging and beneficial, it can take months and even years to cultivate the strength required to experience the full expression of this shape. Keep at it and don’t be afraid to ask for guidance if you are unsure in class. Protect your wrists and lower back and practice where you feel strong and capable.

Want to really get stuck into this shape?

Join us for a 6 week course dedicated to alignment, great for Beginners - Body Geometry

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Stay True Alchemists!

Love, Team Alchemy