(Chaturanga Dandasana): Techniques, Benefits, Variations

Level – Advanced

Four-Limbed Staff Pose

(Chaturanga Dandasana)

Four-Limbed Staff Pose Prep & Practice


Beginning in Plank Pose, on an inhalation, shift heart and shoulders slightly forward.  Exhale bend the elbows, keeping elbows directly over wrists as you slowly lower the body all in one line into a hover.


Wrist creases face forward, elbows hug the sides of the body. Upper arms firm isometrically and graze the body, shoulders at a 90-degree angle from the elbows.


Breath is steady, legs, abdominals and arms energized and engaged, heart and chest lift as shoulders draw away from ears. 


To come out of the pose, mindfully lower all the way down to the ground and rest in prone position (on belly).


  • Place knees on the floor
  • Use strap around the upper arms to find proper alignment of arms and shoulders
  • Squeeze a block between inner thighs
  • Wedges under first or forearms on the ground (wrist injury)
  • Use a block under torso to prevent lowering too close to the ground

Physical, Mental, and Emotional Benefits

  • Strengthens core
  • Aligns the joints and strengthens the muscles of the wrists, arms, shoulder girdle, ankles hips and knees
  • Promotes spinal integrity and support
  • Builds strength for more challenging arm balances


  • Wrist Injury (see modifications)
  • Shoulder Injury 
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Overall Weakness

Thoughtful Sequencing

Cow (Bitilasana), Cat (Marjaryasana), repeat 5x, Plank, Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana), Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), lower knees and rest in Child’s Pose (Balasana).

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