Definition - What does Chatushpadasana mean?
Chatushpadasana is a heart-opening yoga asana and a calming variation of bridge pose. The set up is the same as for bridge pose, but the hands clasp the ankles, meaning the back works hard, but the body is well supported and balanced. This can bring the heart and mind a feeling of ease.
Its name can be translated from the Sanskrit as “four-footed posture”. It is so called because the weight is evenly distributed between the feet and shoulders, as if the body were supported by four limbs.
Yogapedia explains Chatushpadasana
As well as the physical benefits of the backbend, chatushpadasana is valued for its ability to promote an effortless surrender. In the posture, the yogi needs to find a balance between the effort of lifting into the posture and the ease of opening up space in the body. It is the stability and strength of the back body that allows the front of the body to soften.
Due to the focus on the heart area in this posture, it is also believed to stimulate and balance anahata chakra, which is the energetic center for love and compassion.
In Iyengar Yoga, chatushpadasana is taught as a preparation for salamba sarvangasana or supported shoulderstand. It is believed to help steady the flow of thoughts and deeply relax the mind.