Four Limbed Staff ~ Chataranga Dandasana

Alignment

From Plank pose, shift to the tips of your toes, keep your elbows drawn in and your shoulder heads lifted. Slowly lower until elbows stack over wrists.

Refinement

Hug your elbows in towards your mid-line to find strength here as you simultaneously press your heels back and reach your heart forward to create space in your pose.

Four Limbed Staff is a Invigorating , Prone , Core Strengthener

To release from this pose give a slight push to your heals and lower to your belly. Option two is to keep your naval rooting towards your spine to protect the low back as you release the tops of your feet to the mat one at a time and actively push through your feet and hands lifting into upward facing dog.  Avoid common mistakes and potential injuries: One tendency is to sink at the center of the torso (creating a backbend) and compressing the lower lumbar discs.  Another is to leave the butt up in the air as the shoulders dip toward the floor (creating a pike) and adding compacting pressure to the head of the humerus. Keeping the tops of the shoulders away from the floor deepens the connection of the humeral head into the glenohumeral joint increasing the potential range of motion and preventing a pinching of the supraspinatus tendon between the head of the humerus and the acromion process (ouch!). This pinching can result in ‘impingement’ and the pain/discomfort associated with it is a very common scenario. (ever have soreness there after a strong vinyasa class??) The clinical assessment of this condition is known as “shoulder impingement,” and “rotator cuff tendonitis.” The entire movement (cinching down, externally rotating) is very subtle and is referred to as the scapulo-humeral rhythm.  With misalignment here it is only a matter of time before the shoulder gets destabilised. The more you can activate the front of your body so that it supports the back of your body, the more success you will have at avoiding these polarities. Engage your deep core and quadriceps by lifting the tops of the thighs to the ceiling and drawing your tailbone toward your heels.

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