Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Chaturanga Mean?

Chaturanga, also referred to as chaturanga dandasana, is one of the most well-known Ashtanga yoga poses. The name is derived from the Sanskrit, chatur, meaning "four," anga, meaning "limb," danda, meaning "staff," and asana, meaning "pose." Thus, chaturanga dandasana can be translates as "four limbed staff pose."

To enter this asana, the practitioner assumes kumbhakasana (plank pose). The body lowers until the elbows are in line with the shoulders. It can be modified by lowering the knees when necessary.

Chaturanga is also called low plank in English.



Yogapedia Explains Chaturanga

Chaturanga is a common posture in vinyasa yoga classes, also called flow yoga, as it is a transition pose between plank pose and upward-facing dog.

Chaturanga strengthens the arms, shoulders, abdomen and back muscles. It also makes the wrists stronger and more flexible, in addition to toning the abdominal organs.

Chaturanga dandasana is a challenging pose, particularly for beginners, as it requires strength, whole body alignment and coordination. It can, therefore, be a good posture to help students learn how to balance effort and surrender in the posture. In turn, seeking this balance can teach concentration and focus, or dharana.

Chaturanga dandasana can also help students connect with their inner strength and energy. It may challenge those who lack self belief; however, one may overcome such negative self perceptions as this pose is thought to stimulate the manipura chakra, which promotes confidence and self-esteem.

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Chaturanga Dandasana

Ardha Phalakasana

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