Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose) | iHanuman


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Chaturanga Dandasana

English Name: 
Four Limbed Staff Pose
Practice Type: 
Practice Level: 
Asana Image: 
Model: Elizabeth Shilling Credit: Matthew Sexton
Asana Description: 

Geometry:The four limbs of the hands and feet support the weight of the body. The body is straight, strong and steady like a staff. The hands are shoulder width and parallel. Hands in line with lower ribs.The legs are hip width and parallel.



a.    anchor the toes under

b.    toes extend back  

Lie flat on the floor, face downwards.

Place the palms down next to lower ribs. Elbows in and Shoulders back.

Turn the toes under and extend through the soles of the feet.

With an exhalation, press the palms and feet and lift the entire body off the ground. Keep the entire body from head to heels parallel to the floor and straight as a staff. The legs are strongly extended.
Exhale and lower the body back to the floor.


remember tailbone down and in and pubic bone up. Anchor the hands and draw the shoulders back. remember to link to ums as well as tadasana. it is a prep for backbends. abdomen towards the spine to help lift the body.

Great Article by Doug Keller on How to Avoid Shoulder Injuries in Chaturanga Dandasana and Plank

Iyengar Yoga Teacher Carrie Owerko's Teaches Chaturanga Dandasana. From her Series 'Mobility in Stability' with Roads to Bliss. 

Sanskrit Pronunciation: 

This pose strengthens the arms and the wrists develop mobility and power. It also contracts and tones the abdominal organs.

This is not a back-bending asana, but it tones the spinal muscles for the backbends – urdhva mukha svanasana, dhanurasana, and salabhasana. It is a parameter to know the strength of the spinal muscles.

Beginners Tips: 

Learn to keep the knees and thighs firm above the floor without sticking the tailbone up towards the ceiling.


If it is not possible to lift the body off the floor then do Adho Mukha Svanasana and reach this asana by flexing the elbows.


Learn to keep the chest up so the whole body is parallel to the floor.


Modifications and Props : 

Common Problems:

The pelvis is lifted so the body is not straight and parallel

The shoulders roll forward and collapse the chest.

The hands are not far enough back by the lower ribs/waist.

The elbows splay out.

The chest is lifted up so the body is not parallel and straight.

The legs are not stretched straight.

The pelvis is not lifted so The lumbar spine is arched, compressing the lower spine.


Block under pelvis. Show Tadasana as second teaching. Tailbone down pubic bone up.

Narrow block under sternum. Can also use belt above elbows across the chest. 


Avoid this pose during menstruation.

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