Chaturanga Dandasana (AKA A Hot Mess)

It’s one of those postures that gets named in class in a series of postures as if it is something you should just know and complete with no need for additional instruction. It doesn’t get half the attention the others do.  But it’s so hard to do correctly.  Take out your phone now, take a picture of yourself doing Chaturanga.  Does it look like you thought it did – mine certainly doesn’t.  

My shoulders are tipped forward, my bum is up too high.  Full instructions and pictures of the proper form can be found here.  For the longest time, I didn’t actually know I was supposed to be off the floor.  I was plopping down from plank straight to the ground and then scooping in to upward facing dog and then to the comfort and security of downward facing dog.  

Thankfully, I took the time to look around one day and see that I was meant to be in a low plank.  Thankfully, I took a yoga basics class at Yoga Vida.  It was the first time I learned that I was supposed to roll my body weight forward while in high plank before lowering down to Chaturanga.  Plank is hard.  A real, properly aligned low plank (Chaturanga) is insane.  Any cheating you did in a high plank will be revealed in your low plank.  

Flying Pigeon, Crow, Bird of Paradise – they are all beautiful.  But this.  My god – the day I can do this properly will be a very proud day.  



3 thoughts on “Chaturanga Dandasana (AKA A Hot Mess)

  1. Yeesssss!! I had to take a photo of this for a yoga challenge, I had no idea I was doing it wrong! I knew it was a low plank but I wasn’t rolling my weight forward, my elbows were all out of alignment and my shoulders were tipping down!


    1. I feel like we all make that same mistake. Would be great for teachers to say something every once in a while. It’s nice to get in to a good rhythm/flow. But it’s better to be in proper alignment. Namaste.


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