There are a lot of ways to take today’s theme, but I went with a staple - Chataranga Dandasana. For YEARS I did Chataranga the wrong way, as though it were a regular push up. I didn’t pay any attention to whether my elbows were lined up with my wrists and or hover when I got into this position. Without building up strength in that alignment, I could never get into Crow, let alone any other poses that rely on that specific angle. Then I had an instructor walk me through the proper form and my practice changed dramatically. So, even though it’s a basic pose, I think a strong foundation leads to a strong practice.
#PoseByPose Day 2. #Chaturanga Dandasana (Crow Prep)
Chaturanga. The pose we all have a love/hate relationship with. Chaturanga is a great prep pose for crow for many of the same reasons that plank is - building core and arm strength. Getting the proper form will help get you used to having your arms at that right angle, creating the perfect shelf for your arm balances. To do it…
Start in plank, either in modified plank on your knees or in full plank on your toes.
Your wrists should be directly below your shoulders and they should keep that alignment throughout the entire movement.
Shift your weight slightly forward and SLOWLY lower yourself down. Pay attention to the angle of your elbow and keep your elbows pulled in close to your sides, hugging your ribs. You want a right angle, you want your upper arm to be parallel to the ground. This is not the same angle your arms make doing a regular push up and feels very strange at first, but getting it right is crucial.
Check in with your hips - are they lifted? And how about that core - is it engaged?
When you lower down, keep it smooth and controlled. Don’t rush through this, even though it’s tempting to do so. If you rush through you won’t get the full benefit of the pose.
To build your strength and control in chaturanga, hover for a few breaths before you release to the ground. It’s hard! I know! I hate it the hover too! But you will get so much stronger for doing this.
See pose #2 for some crazy variations if you want to up the ante.