Chaturanga 101

Chaturanga 101 with our guest blogger, Jasmine Christine.

Chaturangas are a common transition for many Yoga classes especially Power Vinyasa classes or classes themed around Sun Salutations. Chaturangas are a high plank to mid-plank transition that calls upon the strength of the triceps and anterior deltoids. Chaturang usually flows into Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Savanasana) and then eventually to Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Because this transition is usually repeated in many Yoga classes, it is important to spend some time with proper form and alignment. Fast forwarding through your Chaturanga transitions or doing them with poor alignment can lead to elbow tendonitis and overstretching and strain in the anterior deltoid (front part of your shoulder). Check out this video for a Chaturanga tutorial that steps away from traditional transitions and focuses on a safer way to practice this transition.

Keep practicing even if you are a seasoned Yogi. Alignment is key to letting positing energy of the postures just flow through. Alignment is also very essential in protecting and extending the life of your physical practice. So as you practice remember these three tips:

1. Pull forward AND look slightly forward to align your elbows over your wrists.
2. Only lower halfway (or higher than halfway) just enough to put tension on your triceps.
3. Lift through your chest when transitioning to Upward Facing Dog to elongate your spine and avoid intense compression in your lower spine.

Here are a few versions you can try. First try on your knees.

1. Pull forward to modified plank.
Step 1 mod. Plank






2. Lower halfway or higher thank halfway.
Step 2 mod. Low plank








3. Inhale press away from the Earth, arch your lower back, and pull your heart forward.

Step 3 upward facing dog








Next try off your knees:

1. Pull forward to full, high plank.
Step 1 high plank






2. Lower halfway or just above your halfway point.

Step 2 low plank







3. Inhale as you push away from the floor and shine your heart forward between your arms.
Step 3 upward facing dog(1)






See video here:

Stay Healthy my Yogi Friends!!


Jasmine is a Fitness Model, Certified Yoga Teacher, Fitness Trainer, ASD Sponsored Athlete and CorePower Yoga Instructor. To learn more about her visit on-line.

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