I get asked about this pose ALL. THE. TIME. It’s one of the reasons people start seeing me for private yoga sessions. It is THE pose that everyone wants to know how to do, but is unfortunately the pose that us yoga teachers never actually take the time to teach.
There are so many ways you can build up to chaturanga in order to work on it STRONGLY instead of dropping into it and kind of flopping to the ground.
Why is it so hard? Let’s break it down:
- It is technically an ARM BALANCE. That means all the weight is on your arms. TOUGH.
- It requires huge amounts of wrist mobility and strength (like being able to put your wrist at 90 degrees)
- It requires core strength so your hips don’t drop
- It requires tricep strength because it is technically a tricep pushup
- You pause (even if it’s for a split second) while you’re in it before pressing up to upward facing dog (which is another class coming to the studio in March!)
- It requires chest strength
- Your WHOLE BODY is integrated – your legs should be active even though the focus is on core and arms
I posted a short video on Instagram a few weeks ago about how chaturanga looks, what I often see in class, and what you can do on at home in order to work on your strength and chaturanga prep. Here it is:
Give that a try every day and I guarantee you you will feel stronger in your pose. Not only that, but learning chaturanga arms is KEY for arm balancing, so if that’s a goal of yours, definitely give those tips in the video a try.
I want to add one more thing. It’s small, but it’s KEY.
WHEN YOU PULL FORWARDS INTO PLANK, TURN THE EYE OF YOUR ELBOW FORWARDS AND THEN BEND YOUR ELBOWS STRAIGHT BACK AND LOWER DOWN
If you’re unsure what the eye of an elbow looks like, here’s a picture of mine:
Why does this matter? Take a look at how I bend my arms when the eye of the elbow is forwards versus facing in (which is what typically happens)
EYE OF THE ELBOW FACING IN —> ARMS BEND OUT TO THE SIDE
EYE OF THE ELBOW FORWARDS —> ARMS CAN BEND STRAIGHT BACK
As you can see, in order to bend your arms straight back you have to turn the eye of your elbow forwards – in other words EXTERNALLY rotate your arms WITHOUT adjusting your hands. This comes from the shoulder. Check out the video below to see what I mean:
So when you’re trying the moves in the first video, remember to point the eye of your elbow forward. See what changes it gives you. It is probably much harder!
If you’re interested in diving deep into chaturanga, then make sure you sign up for my FREE chaturanga tutorial by clicking here
Till next time,
P.S. If you enjoyed this blog post and want more yoga tips to help you build a stronger, more flexible and dependable body, join my mailing list where I send out weekly tips like this. You can sign up here. Please also feel free to share this with anyone who you think might benefit from these tips!