Chaturanga Dandasana - four limbed staff pose

A No-Gym Equipment Exercise to Develop Muscles

If developing lean and strong muscles is what you’re looking for but have no time to go to the gym to lift some weights, Chaturanga Dandasana is perfect for you. Yoga exercises can be done anywhere as long as there is good ventilation circulating around the area. It needs no heavy equipment, but the benefits are far surpassing the benefits you can derive from any other forms of exercises. Chaturanga Dandasana (also known as the four-limbed Staff Pose) focuses on using the hands and feet to support the body. It looks like a static pushup but with lower hands position particularly just above the pelvis. Most of the time, it serves as a warming up position to sequential exercises such as the Sun Salutations.

Given that you don’t need any heavy equipment to build up your muscles, simply get yourself warmed up and roll out your yoga mat, and you’re good to go.

Step-by-Step Procedure

How to do Dandasana Chaturanga four limbed staff pose

  1. To begin, you can start from two very opposite preparation stages. You can choose from either a plank pose or a high push up. Choose whichever is comfortable for you and move on with the next step.
  2. Chaturanga Dandasana is mainly supported by the wrists and toes, so you better keep them strong and firm while you execute this pose. Your wrists should be placed under your shoulders. While staying in the pose, only your wrists and toes should be on the mat and your body is raised up to a few inches. Body should be parallel to the mat.
  3. Keep your alignment straight from your toes to your head. Holding this pose for a few counts has the tendency for the tailbone to rise toward the ceiling and the lower back to move toward the mat. It is important to keep your tailbone, legs, and shoulders firmly in place to remain in static position.
  4. While doing the four Limbed Staff Pose you only need to incorporate normal breathing all throughout the exercise. Keep your elbows a little distant to your sides but make sure that it won’t poke up toward the ceiling. Press firmly the bases of your index fingers and lift up your head forward.
  5. Stay in this position for thirty to sixty seconds or more as long as your extremities can still hold your body. To come up, inhale deeply and as you exhale, lower down your body and put your arms to your sides. Relax for a few counts and repeat the entire procedure for another invigorating session.

Dandasana Chaturanga

Four limbed staff pose

Health Benefits of Chaturanga Dandasana

Benefits of doing the four limbed staff pose

The four Limbed Staff Pose centers its body development on strengthening and building up muscles in your biceps, triceps, the core abdominal muscles, pectoralis in the chest area, and rotator cuffs. It also strengthens and elongates the spine thus relieving chronic back pains. It improves posture, stability, and flexibility.

Caution and Disclaimer

DOs & DONTs of Chaturanga Dandasana

This asana is one of the most difficult poses to properly execute. If wrists and elbows are not strong enough, you might get injured and feel a shooting pain for almost a week to a month in these particular extremities. It is important to keep them strong and ask a full medical clearance from your physician before getting down into the pose. If you are not attentive and careful while doing the pose, you might suffer from permanent nerve damage. Your wrists were not accustomed to holding the weight of your body, and when sudden like this was placed onto their sensitive muscles, you will put immense amount of stress on your wrists. Make sure that you practice this pose under the guidance of a qualified yoga instruction to reduce the risk of injuries.

To save your wrists and elbows for future use, better keep them strong enough until they can hold your weight. You can prepare yourself to do the Chaturanga Dandasana by regularly practicing plank pose, bhujangasana, and urdhvamukhasvanasana. Persons who are pregnant and are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome should avoid doing the four Limbed Staff Pose.