Four Limbed Staff Pose, or Chaturanga Dandasana, is a demanding strength builder. It strengthens the whole upper body, especially the muscles around the arms, shoulders and core. Additionally, this pose channels the hamstrings that work especially hard to keep the body parallel to the mat. At the same time the pose nurtures focus, determination and awareness as it is a powerful Manipura Chakra and Pitta stimulant, embracing its fiery essence.
1.) Begin on your mat, sitting back on your heels with your hands on your thighs.
2.) Place your hands on the mat in front of you and come into Plank Pose. Your heels should be pressed back and your abdominal muscles and core should be engaged, arms should be straight with your palms pressed into the mat .
3.) Shift your weight forward, your body should move forward, over your hands.
4.) Bend your elbows and lower your body so you are hovering above your mat. Your arms should be tucked into your side body, and your entire body should be engaged. Hold this position for up to a minute.
5.) To release from this pose, simply move back into Plank Pose and return to your heels.
Four Limbed Staff Pose is excellent for strengthening and sculpting the arms and the rest of the upper body, putting the emphasis on the biceps, the triceps as well as the regional back muscles. For an intense upper body workout, try holding the pose for up to 30 seconds at a time.
The main powerhouse of the pose is your core. Your core must be engaged to maintain stillness and strength in this position.
Four Limbed Staff Pose stabilizes the structures around the spine as well as lengthens it, promoting a healthy, straight spine and helping to achieve better posture.
When the rest of the body is working hard, the hips and the hamstrings can get some space to flex. Four Limbed Staff Pose is a great stretcher here as the thighs must be kept parallel to the ground.
Four Limbed Staff Pose is purely a fire pose, stimulating the Manipura Chakra and Pitta which encourages focus and awareness as well as ignites great motivation and determination. After doing the pose, we not only feel driven to pursue our goals but we are also able to fully concentrate on the task.
The One-Legged variation of Four Limbed Staff Pose is great for those who would like to put more weight onto their core and their shoulders. Starting from the standard position, lift one of your legs up lightly, foot lengthened, toes pointing backward. Do not maintain the lifted leg parallel with the trunk but let your shin form a 45 degrees angle with it. Keep looking forward while performing the pose.
This variation lets the practitioner work on their balance. Starting from the standard Four Limbed Staff Pose, bend the knee of one leg and bring it lightly to the ground. Then, lift the foot of this leg up and bend the knee so that the shin is perpendicular to the ground, foot lengthened, toes pointing upwards. Now, carefully lift the second leg up, precisely as described in the variation above, so that the shin forms a 45-degree angle with the torso, foot lengthened, toes pointing backwards. Keep the thighs hip distance apart and rest the shin of the lifted leg on the sole of the foot of the bent leg. Keep the pose for nurturing extra strength and balance.