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Chaturanga – Four-Limbed Staff Pose

Pose Summary

Chaturanga is a common posture in western yoga classes and is performed repeatedly to link your vinyasa from Plank and Updog. Proper alignment is crucial in order to avoid injury to the shoulders.

Yoga Collective - Chaturanga – Four-Limbed Staff Pose


Step 1

Come to tabletop position. Elbows are over the wrists and the hips are over the knees. Spread the fingers wide and firmly roots the hands into the earth.

Step 2

Extend the legs back into a plank pose. The toes are tucked and the heels are pointed straight back. Feet are about 2 inches apart

Step 3

The elbows should be directly over the wrists. The eye of the elbow faces forwards and the elbow bone is pointed straight back.  Don’t let the elbows splay out.

Step 4

Engage the core and begin to lower your body slowly and with control to half way down towards the earth. There is a 90 degree bend in the elbows. Keep a straight line of energy between the crown of the head, shoulders, spine, hips and ankles. Heels are shooting straight back.

Modifications: Bring the knees down to the earth.  It will take time to develop the strength in your arms and shoulders to properly practice this pose so in the meantime just place your knees on the ground.

Step 5

Don’t let the shoulders sink down lower than the height of the elbows and be sure that you are not sticking your butt up in the air nor sinking the hips down. Also don’t let the shoulder slouch (keep lifting them towards the sky).

Step 6

To get out of the posture you can either lower all the way down onto the earth or press back up into a plank pose. 


  • Tones wrists, arms, core, lower back, and muscles around the spine
  • Improves posture


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome 
  • Shoulder, elbow or wrist injury 
  • Pregnant women should not lower full in this posture