Definition - 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."

To enter this asana, the practitioner assumes phalakasana (plank pose). The body lowers until the elbows are in line with the shoulders. The posture is often held for around 30 seconds.

Chaturanga is also called four-limbed staff pose in English.

Yogapedia explains Chaturanga

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.

The mental benefits of chaturanga include:

  • Calms the mind
  • Relieves stress
  • Promotes a sense of balance
  • Boosts power of resistance

Practicing chaturanga activates the manipura (solar plexus) chakra, which is associated with confidence, willpower and inner strength.

Chaturanga is a preparatory posture for many other arm balances. Beginners may rest their knees on the floor in this pose until they've gained the strength to support the body with the arms.

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