Chaturanga Dandasana

Sanskrit name:  chaturanga dandasana
English name:  four limb staff pose
Translation:  chatur = four, anga = limbs, danda = staff/stick, asana = pose

Benefits

  • foundational pose that strengthens the body
  • prepares the body for arm balances and inversions
  • strengthens arms and wrists
  • tones abdominal organs

Contraindications

  • shoulder, wrist injuries
  • carpel tunnel syndrome

Stretching Muscles

When in chaturanga, most of the muslces are strengthened rather than stretched.  The only areas that are stretched mildly are:

  • ankles
  • soles of the feet

Strengthening Muscles

  • triceps
  • pecs
  • quads
  • abdominals

Chaturanga is often used in transition from High Plank to Upward Facing Dog during sun salutations but in some sequences you may be asked to hold this posture or go from High Plank to Chaturanga and then back to High Plank to strengthen the arms.  Regardless, this foundational pose needs to be done properly to avoid injuries (the wrists will get sore if you do this incorrectly!)
Tip:  you should perform chaturanga on your knees until you have developed the muscle strength for this full pose.