Option 1 – Beginners
So I have been away from this blog for a while for personal reasons and now I am back everything has changed. The world has completely changed and I am now hosting online yoga classes from home. Actually, this has worked out well for me. The world has opened up. Last week I had 18 online yoga students from all over the UK and one in Spain. Next week I have more, including friends in Australia!
One thing that is more difficult with online teaching obviously is no hands on adjusting. I am very particular about people practicing safely and online its difficult to see as much as I would in a physical class.
Which leads me to this very technical post post about Chaturanga Dandasana. If you come regularly to my classes you should know how to do this movement correctly – this is for new online yoga students. It’s one of the most difficult postures / movements to get right and it’s a very challenging posture, especially for those lacking in upper body strength (most of us). It’s so important too as we do so many Chaturangas in a flow class. So I really aim to get everyone doing it correctly. Repetition of a posture done incorrectly WILL cause injury – I know someone whose shoulders have been wrecked by doing the more advanced version before being ready and in now in a world of pain.
Many (myself included for years), attend yoga every week and are still very confused, it’s just not a simple movement and we all feel a bit silly asking after weeks and weeks right? SO, let’s get it right now, for your body.
Please set ego aside and remember, yoga is a non-competitive sport. It’s ALWAYS best to take the modification in postures if you are unsure until you get the technique 100 per cent right. Only then should you move onto the more advanced version.
I have done three versions of the posture in the film above. There is one more version but I don’t want to confuse too much so start with these and ask if you need help.
Option 1 – Chaturanga with bent legs (beginners)
From plank, lower knees to floor gently. Bend knees so feet move towards butt. Then lower torso to the floor – try to do this slowly with control instead of slumping down quickly. Controlling a movement is how you build strength. If you can’t control it all the way down, just do your best to improve each time. (I get it, it’s hard!) While moving torso towards floor, you are folding slightly at the hips and bending your elbows (at a right angle if possible so play with this so you get positioning right). You will end up with chest and chin on floor with your butt elevated slightly. Lower tops of feet to floor. Then slide bottom down and backwards so entire lower body is flat to floor. Hands are either side of breastbone throughout. Lift up to cobra. Move through tabletop (all fours) to down dog with bent legs.
Option 2 – Chaturanga with straight legs (beginners)
Option 2 – Beginners
Same as above but don’t bend your legs and move feet towards butt. Bending your legs as above feels easier for most people. Keeping them on the floor is slightly harder for most. But play around with it and see which is right for you.
Option 3 – Chaturanga with straight body (advanced)
In this version, you need a lot more arm, shoulder and core strength. If you are not strong enough, you will be unpleasantly sore after class and may injure yourself.
Option 3 – Advanced
From plank, lower entire body down in a straight line – just toes and hands are in contact with the floor. Lower all the way to the floor, stop a few inches away. Elbows at a right angle. Throughout the movement, engage your core to keep solid and straight. Lift up to upwards facing dog. Roll over toes to down dog with straight legs).