Mastering the Chaturanga

2014 has already been a whirlwind of activity.  So much so, we didn’t even have time to sketch out some resolutions to ditch after January.  One thing that we consider a continued necessity in the big ’14 and not a temporary resolution is practicing yoga.  Both of us initially connected over our interest in not only getting some exercise at yoga class, but also reaping the relaxing benefits of being on the mat.  As relaxing as it can be,the dreaded asana, chaturanga, has never been the yoga move that made us swoon.  In fact, it has been of particular frustration at times, especially after 12 Sun Salutations  in a row (*shaking fist at yoga teachers!!).


Chaturanga (chah-tuur-ANGH-uh) Dandasana (dahn-DAHS-uh-nuh) means “four limbs staff pose” and is part of the sun salutation sequence.  Corepower Yoga in Oak Park/River Forest recently put on a Chaturanga workshop and we were intrigued as well as afraid.  Mon ended up welcoming a new family into the world the eve of the workshop (YAAAY!), so I was left on my own to brave the unknown.

Julia and Laura were the fearless yoga leaders who walked the class through a crazy amount of variations of chatarungas.  Some of the most important points they made were*:

1) No need to do chaturangas every day.  This could lead to a possible tennis elbow injury or overuse of the shoulder (aka dang my rotator cuff is jacked).

2) A strap could be your best yoga bud for this pose.  If you wrap it around your forearms, when you go down to the bottom of the chaturanga pose with your 90% elbows at the sides of your ribcage, it gently pushes on the front of the rib cage and shows you if you’re in the right position.

*Since I am not a personal trainer or yoga teacher, do not take my advice and start slugging it out as I don’t have to money to pay for your urgent care bills.  Here’s Mind Body Yoga’s step-by-step how-to on correct form or watch the video by Lululemon.

I was surprised because we actually got a full workout during the workshop and talked through all these variations of chaturanga.

  1. Basic chaturanga – Got it down!
  2. 1 legged chaturanga – A little harder
  3. Crow to chaturanga – Umm I flopped around like an injured crow.  Best advice was use your core not your legs to propel yourself out.  At least the girl in front of me was flopping too.
  4. Forward fold to chaturanga – Somehow managed to fake it
  5. Standing splits to chaturanga – Yeah I just watched and admired the class at this point.

Even if you’ve been practicing yoga for a long time, I think it’s pretty essential to get some walk through on proper form and in my yoga class on Sunday, I felt more confident and comfortable when completing my chaturangas.  Want to get your own yoga scholar time on?  Corepower Yoga is being awesome to the community and offering another free workshop on February 8th for back bends.  Contact the studio for more details.


Reverse Warrior sequence with Corepower Yoga OPRF Julia (left) and Laura (right).

Thanks to Julia, Laura and Morgan, studio owner of Corepower Yoga OPRF, for hosting me.  See y’all on the mat!



2 thoughts on “Mastering the Chaturanga

    • Thanks Melissa! Monica helped immensely with making my so so pics look stunning. You should come to the next workshop!!

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