Chaturanga Dandasana

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Chaturanga Dandasana

Chaturanga Dandasana (Sanskrit: चतुरङ्ग दण्डासन; Sanskrit pronunciation: [tʃəturəŋɡə dəɳɖaːsənə]; IAST: Caturaṅga Daṇḍāsana) or Four-Limbed Staff Pose,[1] also known as Low Plank, is a Yoga asana, in which a straight body parallel to the ground is supported by the toes and palms, with elbows at a right angle.

Etymology[edit]

The name comes from the Sanskrit words chatur (Sanskrit: चतुर्; IAST:catur) meaning "four", anga (Sanskrit: अङ्ग; IAST: aṅga) meaning "limb", danda (Sanskrit: दण्ड; IAST:daṇḍa) meaning "staff" (refers to the spine, the central "staff" or support of the body), and asana (Sanskrit: आसन; IAST:Āsana) meaning "posture" or "seat".[2]

Description[edit]

In Chaturaṅga Daṇḍāsana the hands and feet are on the floor, supporting the body, which is parallel to and lowered toward, but not touching, the floor. It looks much like a push up, but with the hands quite low (just above the pelvis), and the elbows kept in along the sides of the body.[3]

When performed correctly, it can help prepare the body for arm balance asanas by strengthening important muscles and promoting good form.[4]

In vinyasa styles of yoga, Caturaṅga Daṇḍāsana is part of the Sun Salutations Sūrya Namaskāra A and B. In the sequences it is performed on an exhale, and the dṛṣṭi दृष्टि is the nāsāgra (नासाग्र) with the face pointing forwards. In Sūrya Namaskāra A it is the fourth count (catvāri, चत्वारि), and in Sūrya Namaskāra B it is performed on the fourth, eighth and twelfth counts (catvāri, चत्वारि;aṣṭa,अष्ट;dvādaśa,द्वादश respectively).[5][6]

In yoga practice without vinyasa the asana is simply held for a period of time (for instance, 30 seconds) with continuous breathing.[3]

Variations[edit]

Variation with straight arms

Beginners can practise with the knees on the floor, or keeping the arms straight, before attempting the full pose.

Effects[edit]

This asana helps to tone arm and forearm muscles[7] and develops flexibility and power in the wrists, as well as toning abdominal organs[3] and building repository muscles.[8]

Cautions[edit]

As the shoulder joint is supported by muscles and tendons alone, those with weak muscles risk winging the shoulder blades [9] in the pose, resulting in shoulder or elbow pain or clicking.[10][11]

Lumbar hyperextension and hip flexion is a result of weakness in this asana, which can be corrected by activating the hamstrings.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Yoga Journal - Four-Limbed Staff Pose". Retrieved 2011-04-09.
  2. ^ Sinha, S.C. (1 June 1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Iyengar 2005, p. 54-55.
  4. ^ "Om Shanti: A Yoga Blog: Chaturanga Dandasana: Wrist and Elbow Killer". Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  5. ^ "Surya Namaskara A - Sun Salutation". Ashtanga Yoga. Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  6. ^ John Scott (2008). Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series with John Scott DVD (NTSC) (DVD). John Scott. Event occurs at 5 min.+. ASIN B000BFHDY0.
  7. ^ Active Interest Media (1984). Yoga Journal. Active Interest Media. p. 19.
  8. ^ a b Kaminoff 2007, p. 183.
  9. ^ Long & Macivor 2009, p. 162.
  10. ^ "Yoga Anatomy for the Perplexed: Elbow Pain and Vinyasa Yoga". Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  11. ^ "Yoga Anatomy for the Perplexed: Winging Shoulder-blades From Vinyasa Practice". Retrieved 2012-03-17.

Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]