The yogic push-up pose (or Chaturanga Dandasana as it’s called in Sanskrit) requires a great deal of energy and body tension. If the participants do not have sufficient strength to perform it properly, it can lead to problems. This is why we advise that you practise alternatives to this pose first before you attempt it.
This asana strengthens the entire body from the writs through to the arms, abdomen, back muscles and legs. It also expands the rib cage and instils a feeling of strength and freshness as well as assisting to rid the body and mind of lethargy.
- From downward dog, move into plank pose. Tense your leg muscles and push your heels down. Pull your shoulders back and your tailbone towards your pubis.
- Straighten your arms, spread your fingers apart and shift your weight evenly into your hands.
- Ensure that your shoulders are directly over your wrists, with your middle fingers facing forward and turn your upper arms out slightly.
- Inhale and lengthen our spine. Keep your neck straight. Your body should form a straight line.
- Exhale and slowly lower your body towards the ground, tensing your Abdominals, so your body does not sage. Keep your tailbone firmly in place and your legs very active as well as turned slightly inward. Draw your pubis toward your navel.
- Press your arms into your ribcage and keep your upper and lower arms at 90 degrees to each other. Pull your shoulders back, so they form a straight line with your elbow and direct your gaze to the floor.
- Hold for between 15 and 30 seconds while breathing normally or deeply.
- Exhale and release lightly down onto the floor or push actively back to Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog) lifting through the top thighs and the tailbone.
If your arms are not yet strong enough, place a cushion lengthways under your chest to support your weight. This will help with correct alignment. In addition, to assist with building upper body strength and warming up, from plank, first lower your knees, then exhale your chest and after this place your chine on the floor. Push your pelvis up and press firmly into the ground with your fingers. Look forward.
Try rolling slowly over the balls of your feet onto the tops of your feet and shift the torso slightly forward. This will bring the hands back beside your waist and increase the change of the position.
Deferrals and cautions
- If you suffer from neck injuries and headaches, avoid this pose.
- If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, be cautious or avoid it.
- Avoid performing this pose is you are pregnant.
- Plank pose
- Urdhava Mukha Svanasana
- Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Lie on your stomach and then place your hands one on top of the other. Rest your cheek on your hands.
If you want to learn how to teach other people, similar Yoga poses, or just want to attain a deeper understanding of this ancient exercise form, then you need to do our Yoga Certification Course. For more information, please follow this link.