I was really inspired by this post that I found the other day, and I wanted to give the pose a try for today’s theme “balance.” It is such a delicate and interesting balance, and definitely quite difficult for me to achieve! It’s very rusty, but I was excited that after following the steps I was able to lift myself for at least a few seconds :). The blog post suggests to do a certain set of poses/stretches before giving this pose a try and I definitely agree! This pose gives such an intense stretch and twist, and it was definitely necessary to do extensive stretching before hand to prepare yourself to get into it!
#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.
Chaturanga Dandasana, aka Four Limbed Staff Pose, may be one of the more basic yoga poses, but it is also one of the more difficult to master. Part of the vinyasa flow, this pose is essentially a push-up and requires a good deal of strength to hold without collapsing before lifting into an updog. Remember to keep your elbows going straight back and close to your ribs, engage your legs and abs and to never lower your shoulders beneath your elbows. Expect to find yourself in this pose and many more in my 7:30pm Vinyasa class tonight at Sangha Yoga Shala. See you there!