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A little insight into the life of Free Spirit - a melting pot of our thoughts, beliefs, suggestions & ideas to inspire you on your path as you journey through life.



 

Chaturanga is HARD! Despite us doing it 20 something times in every practice session, many of us end up rushing through it because it is so challenging! Even after 9 years of practicing every day, and 5 years teaching, I still find it challenging and continuously have to “check in” on my self cues – which of course is exactly what we should be doing in all poses to stay mindful in the practice, remember.

 

Firsty, if you are still building up the strength for a solid chaturanga, there is always the option for “Knees-Chest-Chin” or “Ashtanga Namaskara”. Personally I start my flow with several rounds of this every morning to wake up the body, way before my chaturanga comes into play. It builds strength in the upper arms, especially the triceps where we require the most strength for this pose.

 

 



Step by Step for Ashtanga Namaskara:

 

  1. Start in plank position with knees dropped, fingers spread wide, hands press firmly.

  2. Keep the belly hugged towards the spine.

  3. While pushing into the ground, externally rotate the hands (Do not actually move them – just feel the space created in the armpits!)

  4. Keeping the elbows hugged towards each other, lower ONLY your chest and chin down to the earth. Your butt stays up in the air. Exhale.

  5. Look forward.

 

From here you can transition to Cobra (Bhujangasana), Upward Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), Table Top (Bharmanasana), or Child's Pose (Balasana) . Creating a gentle flow through these transitions will help you gain strength for your Chaturanga.



Step by Step for Chaturanga:

 

  1. Start in plank position with knees lifted, fingers spread wide, hands press firmly.

  2. Keep the belly hugged towards the spine.

  3. Push the energy back through your heels so your weight is distributed.

  4. While pushing into ground, externally rotate the hands (Do not actually move them – just feel the space created in the armpits!)

  5. Keeping the elbows hugged towards each other, belly hugged in and heels pushing back, lower slowly. Keep your shoulders higher than your elbows. Look forward.

 

Practice holding the pose for a few breaths at a time to build your strength and stamina, rather than rushing through straight to Upward Facing Dog. Remember there is always the option to drop your knees! Honouring your body is not a weakness, but ignoring your body is!  Your body knows best, listen to it.

 

Common mistakes made:

 

Entering the pose to fast – Slow & steady is the key to building the strength. Speeding through with bad form can create wear and tear on the shoulders especially. Take the time to feel which muscles are engaging and strengthening.

Collapsing in the lower back – This can happen when our core is not engaged. Again, if you are struggling – drop your knees! Really hugging the belly towards the spine will help strengthen and avoid lower back pain.

Elbows Flaring Out – Keep elbows hugged towards the side of the body, but do not reply on the side body to support your arms. Externally rotating the hands will create space in the armpits and force you to build the strength in the right places!

 

Check out our IGTV channel for a short video workshop on how to Check in with your Chaturanga!

 

 

 

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