Definition - What does Catuspadapitham mean?

Catuspadapitham is a beginner friendly yoga pose with many health benefits. It makes the body supple and serves as a preparatory pose for more advanced poses. The term comes from the Sanskrit, catus, meaning "four," pada, meaning "foot," and pitham, meaning "bench."

To enter the pose, begin seated on a yoga mat with the legs extended in dandasana (staff pose). Bend the knees and bring the feet toward the sit bones. Pressing the palms down into the mat, begin lifting the hips toward the sky until the thighs are parallel with the floor. Keep the knees at a 90-degree angle to the thighs. The toes of the feet point toward the end of the mat. A yoga block can be placed between the thighs to ensure correct alignment. The palms of the hands are directly under the shoulders with fingers pointed toward the feet. Bring the gaze to the sky and hold the pose for six to eight breaths. To exit the pose, mindfully lower the sit bones back onto the mat.

Catuspadapitham is called crab pose in English.

Yogapedia explains Catuspadapitham

Catuspadapitham strengthens the shoulders, arms and wrists while promoting heart and lung health. It also strengthens the core and helps relieve physical stress. Catuspadapitham is said to activate the anahata (heart) chakra, which is associated with love, consciousness and creativity. It promotes the flow of prana, thereby improving physical and mental well-being.

The emotional benefits of catuspadapitham include:

  • Activates the heart chakra
  • Promotes emotional stability
  • Alleviates fear
  • Improves self-expression
  • Develops love and compassion
  • Promotes forgiveness and acceptance

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