Realize Your Chaturanga With Our Moving Mindfully Workshop
This coming week at Yoga Tree we will be hosting a Moving Mindfully workshop at Yonge and Eglinton (April 24th) and Vaughan (April 30th) to take an in-depth look at some fundamental poses. Karin, a senior instructor and Elysia, an anatomy professor and chiropractor, make the perfect pair to provide insight on proper alignment, benefits, and modifications. The workshop will focus on three poses: Chaturanga, Plank, and Downward Dog. Whether you are new to yoga, or you have done enough Chaturangas to truly understand it’s nickname the “shoulder shredder”, this workshop will be incredibly useful in deepening your understanding of these poses.
In this post we will take a closer look at Chaturanga Dandasana, also known as Four-Limbed Staff Pose – the often dreaded yoga push-up. Doing this pose incorrectly could cause pain or injury so it is important to correct your technique early so as to prevent repetitive strain on your rotator cuff. This pose engages the whole body but particularly the arms, shoulders and core and really assists in building strength in these areas.
Here’s how to do it…
You usually enter this pose following a plank, and maintain a lot of the form. Keep your tailbone tucked in, and your core engaged to create a long straight line from the feet to the top of the head. Then, from plank position, you roll your weight forward so that you are pressing weight into your toes, and your shoulders come forward over your wrists. Then, lower yourself down so that your arms form a 90 degree angle. Your elbows should hug the body and you gaze should be slightly forward or down. In order to get a hang of the technique, or if this pose is difficult for you, try dropping your knees and just working through the movement in your upper body.
And with a little help from the blocks…
One of the more common mistakes that you’ll find is the dropping of your shoulders below a 90 degree angle. It can be difficult to get an idea of your alignment in this pose, so one of our instructors had our class use blocks and I found it to be very helpful. Try placing the blocks on the highest level so that they are standing tall. Then place your hands slightly behind the blocks and and set yourself up in plank. When you lower yourself down and feel your shoulders touch the blocks, stop! You should be at a 90 degree angle.
Yogis of all levels have something to gain from going back to the basics. For new yogis, nailing these basic postures will help you to build strong foundations and get into the habit of proper form so you can get the most out of your practice. For more seasoned yogis, this workshop is a great opportunity to get a fresh perspective in your return to the foundations that will help you with the technique needed to get into more advances postures. Karin and Elysia will surely help you find the fun in the fundamentals!