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Yoga Styles & Poses

ONEYOGAHOUSE

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?

Step 1.

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.

Step 2.

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.

Step 3.

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.

Step 4.

Pause halfway down, reaching back through heels and forward through sternum.

Step 5.

Lower all the way down to the mat, or continue into upward facing dog.

Benefits of 4-limbed staff

Strengthens the back extensors, chest, forearms, biceps, triceps, quads
Stabilizes muscles of the core and scapula (serratus anterior) to improve posture and make arm balances more accessible
Promotes wrist flexibility and mobility
Builds strength and confidence towards more advanced poses like inversions

Variations of 4-limbed staff

Ashtanga Namaskara: Lower knees, chest, and chin down to the mat keeping your hips lifted
Lower knees down to the mat for modified chaturanga
Lower onto props (align blocks under shoulders, or under sternum and pelvis)

Other Yoga Poses to Try

  • The Downward Dog yoga pose, known as “Adho Mukha Svanasana” in Sanskrit, has a rich history rooted in ancient yoga traditions. The pose finds its origins in the practice of Hatha Yoga, a branch that focuses on physical postures to

  • 4-Limbed Staff Pose

    The 4-Limbed Staff yoga pose tones the arms, strengthens the core, increases upper body strength, and prepares the body for arm balances and inversions.

  • The forward fold yoga pose, also known as Uttanasana, is a fundamental posture that embodies a gentle surrender and deep release within the practice.

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