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Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Sanskrit: Chaturanga Dandasana)

Rachelle Hicks By Rachelle Hicks Published on November 19, 2015

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Suggested song to practice with: “Gravity” by John Mayer

What it is:

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Benefits:

  • Practice with effort distribution
  • Arm and leg strength
  • Full core engagement
  • Finding neutral position for pelvis
  • Gaining control and focus during practice
  • Balance
  • Use of drishti (focused gaze)

Safety points:

  • Keep elbows firmly tucked into side ribs
  • Allow gaze to drop to mat so as not to strain back of the neck
  • Care should be exercised with weak wrists or carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Not advisable for pregnant women

How to do it:

Begin in Plank position. Make sure the shoulders are directly over the wrists and the feet are hip-distance apart. Press into the mat with the toes, balls of the feet and full palms of the hands. Check to see that your hips are not tilting too far towards the sky or the mat, but are in even alignment with the rest of your body. Play with the pelvic tilt to find this position.

Grip the mat with your fingertips and your toes and engage your core muscles. Imagine that you are connecting your belly button to your spine to gain core strength. Dropping your gaze to the mat, slowly start to lower yourself while maintaining straight alignment of the body.

As you lower yourself, find where you can breathe through the effort, relax your mind, and maintain balance. Check in with your hips to make sure they aren’t arching up to the sky or dropping down to the earth. Find where you can hover, shoulders pulled back, straight line from the crown of the head to the heels, and breathe.

When you are ready, place the full front of your body on the mat and enjoy the effects of the practice.

Rachelle Hicks is a writer and yoga teacher who spends her time story-crafting and exploring the brilliant relationship between the body and mind. She enjoys copious amounts of coffee, learning ... Show More

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