The four-limbed staff yoga pose, known as Chaturanga Dandasana in Sanskrit, is a fundamental yoga posture with a rich history deeply rooted in ancient yogic traditions. Its origins can be traced back to the ancient texts of yoga, particularly the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which date back over 2,000 years. Chaturanga Dandasana is often associated with the practice of Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga, where it plays a crucial role in linking various postures fluidly. The name itself reflects the pose’s alignment, as “Chaturanga” means four limbs, referring to the four points of contact—hands and feet—while “Dandasana” translates to staff pose. Over centuries, this pose has evolved, becoming an integral part of contemporary yoga practices, emphasizing strength, stability, and the harmonious integration of breath and movement.
How do you do 4-limbed staff?
Begin in a high plank position on the balls of your feet with your shoulders stacked over wrists. Press firmly into your palms, engage quadriceps, glutes, and abs, and wrap triceps back.
Inhale, lengthen your tailbone, glide shoulder blades down back body, and feel a straight diagonal line from crown of head to heels with your navel drawing up and in. Gaze 8-12 inches forward past your fingertips.
Exhale, reach your shoulders slightly forward of wrists, and begin to lower the body, bending elbows as close to 90 degrees, hugging them along your ribcage.
Pause halfway down, reaching back through heels and forward through sternum.
Lower all the way down to the mat, or continue into upward facing dog.