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Plank Yoga Pose – Chaturanga Dandasana

Chaturanga Dandasana or Plank Pose

Chaturanga Dandasana

[chaht-tour-ANG-ah don-DAHS-anna]

Chatur means four. Anga means limbs. Danda means stick or staff. The Sanskrit translation of this asana is four-limbed staff posture. The literal translation of Danda is lute’s staff and symbolically represents the spinal cord.

Benefits of Chaturanga Dandasana

  • Creates stability in the spine and pelvis.
  • Teaches proper muscle recruitment patterns.
  • Increases the strength of important postural muscles.

Contraindications

  • People with neck, shoulder, wrist, elbow, knee, or back pain may need to to practice modifications or avoid this posture.
  • People with acromioclavicular strain, rotator cuff injuries, and frozen shoulder may need to avoid this posture.

Step-by-Step

  • Start on all fours with your hands underneath your shoulders. Walk your knees back until your thighs are in line with your torso. Your knees are resting on the mat and your toes are curled under.
  • Continue to stay and hold plank pose with the knees down if you already find this version of the pose challenging.
  • Squeeze your legs straight, bringing your body into one long line.
  • Feel the weight evenly distributed on your hands, taking care to avoid having all the weight of your torso on the heels of your hands.
  • Press down with your thumb and pointer finger.
  • Feel the weight evenly distributed on the pads below your knuckles and the webs between your fingers.
  • Avoid supporting the entire weight of your body with the heel of your hand.
  • Rotate the upper arms slightly inward so that the soft part of the elbow is facing inward.
  • Rotate the upper arms slightly inward so that the soft part of the elbow faces inward.
  • Feel the upper arm bone stays firm in the shoulder socket.
  • Lengthen your spine from your tailbone to the crown of your head.
  • Feel your forearms press gently toward each other and the upper arms and shoulders slightly away from each other. This is a subtle feeling that helps to build stability in the asana.
  • Find a balance between effort and effortlessness by using the deeper muscles of the core and spine. Relax surface muscles in the face, neck, shoulders, and joints as much as possible. Notice how relaxing surface muscles makes the asana feel easier both physically and mentally.
  • Lower your body to the floor, keeping your elbows by your sides and over your wrists.

Preparatory Poses

Counter Poses