Mastering Chaturanga: A Comprehensive Tutorial

By Align/WELL

June 18, 2024

tutorial, yoga, yoga basics


  • Origins and Significance: Chaturanga Tadasana symbolizes surrendering to higher strength and nourishment, representing a powerful connection to both inner and outer energies.
  • Physical Benefits: Strengthens and tones the wrists, arms, abs, and lower back, preparing the body for more challenging arm poses and enhancing posture.
  • Energetic Benefits: Stimulates the Manipura Chakra, fostering confidence and self-esteem, while encouraging openness, gratitude, and oneness.
  • Key Alignment Tips: Focus on drawing elbows backward, pressing heels back, extending the head forward, and pressing the ground away to feel lifted and strong.
  • Modifications and Variations: Utilize modifications like knees on the ground, high plank, or support with a bolster or blanket to make Chaturanga accessible for all practitioners.


Dive into Chaturanga Tadasana, also known as the push-up pose. This powerful posture, integral to yoga practices like vinyasa flow, builds strength and honors your inner and outer energies.

Understanding Chaturanga Tadasana

Chaturanga Tadasana translates to the four-limbed staff pose, symbolizing the body's straight and elongated form from head to heels, resembling a long staff. The origins of Chaturanga revolve around the theme of bowing down or surrendering to a higher strength and nourishment. Importantly, this form of surrender is not about defeat but honoring what comes next and embracing it with gratitude and strength.

The Power of Chaturanga

Chaturanga is a powerful pose, demanding energy and muscle engagement. Bowing down in this position signifies respect towards your greater self and the benevolent energies around you, fostering your best self. This tutorial will cover essential aspects to consider when performing Chaturanga, suggested variations, and a guided flow incorporating this pose. Chaturanga is a key component of the sun salutation, a vital sequence in vinyasa flow yoga practices.

Physical Benefits of Chaturanga

Chaturanga offers several physical benefits:

  • Strengthens: Wrists, arms, abs, and lower back.
  • Prepares: The body for more challenging arm poses.
  • Enhances: Posture significantly.

Energetic Benefits of Chaturanga

Chaturanga helps connect with the source of strength and energy, both internally and externally. It stimulates the Manipura Chakra, the center for confidence and self-esteem. This pose encourages releasing overthinking and grounding in the heart space while fostering openness, gratitude, appreciation, and oneness.

Performing Chaturanga: Key Points

When you're in the Chaturanga or push-up position, focus on the following:

  • Elbows: Draw them backwards, keeping them close to your rib cage.
  • Heels and Head: Press your heels backward while extending your head forward to elongate the spine and entire body.
  • Grounding: Imagine pressing the ground away to feel lifted and strong.

Modifications for Chaturanga

Here are some variations if you need modifications:

  • Knees on the Ground: Reduces strain and helps build strength gradually.
  • High Plank Position: A less intense variation to build core and arm strength.
  • Lowering with Knees, Chest, Chin: Gently lowers the body while maintaining alignment.
  • Support: Use a bolster or blanket below your belly for added support.


  • Avoid if You Have: Carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder, wrist, or arm injuries.
  • Pregnant Practitioners: Advised to stick to the high plank position.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

When practicing Chaturanga, it’s crucial to be mindful of:

  • Not holding your breath.
  • Avoiding hyperextension of the elbows.
  • Ensuring your body stays in a straight line from head to heels.
  • Keeping your core engaged and your neck relaxed.

Integrating Chaturanga into a Flow

To help seamlessly incorporate Chaturanga into your practice, here is a simple flow:

  1. Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
    • Stand tall with feet together, grounding through your feet, and lifting through the crown of your head.
  2. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
    • On an exhale, hinge at the hips and fold forward, letting your upper body relax towards the mat.
  3. Halfway Lift (Ardha Uttanasana)
    • Inhale and lift your torso halfway up, lengthening your spine and placing your hands on your shins or the floor.
  4. Plank Pose
    • Exhale and step back into Plank Pose, ensuring your alignment from head to heels is strong and straight, engaging your core and preparing your body.
  5. Chaturanga Dandasana
    • On an exhale, lower your body down while keeping your elbows tightly drawn in towards your rib cage. Remember to keep your body in a straight line, and engage your core muscles to maintain stability.
  6. Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
    • Inhale and press into your palms to lift your chest upward. Your thighs should be off the floor, and your shoulders should draw back, opening the chest.
  7. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
    • Exhale and lift your hips up and back, forming an inverted V shape with your body. Keep your palms grounded, fingers spread wide, and your heels pushing towards the mat.

Embracing Chaturanga in Your Practice

When passing through Chaturanga, envision yourself bowing to both your inner strength and the external energies. Though Chaturanga is part of the vinyasa flow and not a stationary pose, it embodies a moment of bowing down to yourself and being open to what life might bring.

Final Thoughts

By integrating Chaturanga into your yoga practice, you not only build physical strength but also cultivate a profound connection with your inner self and the world around you. Embrace this powerful pose and let it guide you on your journey to becoming the best version of yourself.


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