Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana Mean?

Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana is the name of a core strengthening yoga posture that readies the body for more challenging arm balances. In utthita chaturanga dandasana, the body is held in a plank position off the ground, supported by the hands and the balls of the feet. It is often used as a transitional posture, especially before chaturanga dandasana.

The name comes from the Sanskrit root words, utthita which means “extended”, chatur meaning "four", anga which means "limb", danda which means “staff” and asana which means “seat” or “posture.” The same pose can also be known by the Sanskrit names phalakasana and kumbhakasana or by its English name plank pose.

Plank Pose


Yogapedia Explains Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana

Utthita chaturanga dandasana has a range of mental and emotional benefits as well as the physical strengthening effects. Since it is a challenging posture to hold, it can cultivate greater resilience, determination and focus. It builds patience and discipline.

In the Surya Namaskar sequences, which are commonly used to warm the body in Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga, utthita chaturanga dandasana is practiced repeatedly. It is important that it is practiced carefully and with good alignment in order to prepare the yogi for the next posture in the sequence, chaturanaga dandasana, which is usually more challenging.

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