Tips for Practicing Chaturanga Properly

Chaturanga is a cornerstone pose of yoga, and many variations can be applied to fit your level of practice. But before you start altering this asana (pose), it is important to know the basics and the proper way to move through this asana, as it is often linked within the flow of other poses.

Chaturanga offers many benefits to the practitioner of yoga, such as:

  • Strength to the arms, including that of the wrists
  • Helps with the alignment of the spine
  • Improves your sense of balance
  • Tightens the abdominal muscles 

If you are newer to yoga, you will likely hear a few phrases that your instructor will speak to the class that will accompany this move, so it is important to know what it is required of you to do. Chaturanga is a pose that often follows Downward Dog, and is also included within the Vinyasa that the teacher will have you do. It is a transitional pose and so can often be overlooked as not being that important. 

The best way to understand the positioning of this pose is to practice it on its own in a step-by-step manner in order to better understand how to incorporate it within the flow of your Vinyasa.

Where To Start?

High Plank is a great place to start as it teaches you how to stack your body parts properly. Your shoulders are to be stacked above your wrists, and your core is to be engaged. Your legs are elongated and strong, while your feet are on the pads of your toes. 

The next step is to prepare yourself to move forward and in a downward motion at the same time. Make sure that your elbows are tight by the sides of your abdomen, shift your weight forward so that you are now more on the tips of your toes. Your shoulders are now past your wrists and are no longer stacked.

Making sure to keep your arms tight against your body, slowly lower your whole body towards the ground. Your core muscles should still be engaged and remember to breathe. You will stop when your shoulders are now aligned with your elbows, and your arms are in the shape of an “L.” Once you have reached this position, you will pause and hold it. Continue to engage your core and keep your gaze slightly ahead of you. 

After The Pose

If you are continuing with your practice, you can push back up to Upper Plank and proceed through the process again. If you need a break, you can lower down to the mat and move back into Child’s Pose to catch your breath and allow your muscles a chance to rest. If you are continuing with your Vinyasa, you can move into Baby Cobra or Cobra, and then move back into Downward Dog. 

Chaturanga is practiced many times throughout a Vinyasa Flow, and it is important to understand all the elements that go into it. Once you feel confident, you can push your limits further by adding an extra push up following the pose before you move into Cobra. You will realize you have the proper alignment down when it starts to feel more attainable, and you may be able to stay in the position for longer than before. Keep at it, and you will find your power within.

What Should You Wear to a Yoga Nidra Class?

Yoga Nidra is a growing trend for a restless society. Yogis who are always anxious to move onto the next thing in front of them can lose out on the holistic peace that yoga has to offer. Many individuals already know that rest is a fundamental element of an active yoga practice. However, yogis often breeze through the resting poses at the end of a sequence in order to move on to more important things in their daily life.

This more relaxed form of yoga focuses solely on the relaxation and rest that is supposed to accompany a well-balanced practice. Yoga Nidra helps to calm the mind while relaxing the body for a conscious rest experience that brings peace into your daily life.

Because this type of class setting and yoga practice is unique from a heat-building sequence designed for fitness, many yogis aren’t sure how to dress for this class. What can you do to make sure that you’re prepared for your first yoga Nidra class?


Dress for Comfort

Which one of your yoga outfits is the most comfortable? Because yoga Nidra is focused more on rest and gentle postures, yogis won’t necessarily need to wear the most supportive clothing or the coolest outfits. You won’t build much heat so you should consider what yoga pieces you own that are the most comfortable.

Perhaps you prefer a long, flowing tank top with compression pants. Other yogis may favor a bulky sweatshirt with yoga pants or a crop top with high-waist Capri leggings. There really is no right or wrong solution when you get dressed for this type of yoga class. The only key is that you must be comfortable enough to relax.

Be Sure to Wear Plenty of Layers For Warmth

If you’re used to heat-building sequences found in more rigorous forms of yoga, you may find yourself freezing in a yoga Nidra class. This isn’t the time to bust out the workout clothing that you plan to break a sweat in. You won’t need any breathability or mesh inserts in your yoga Nidra outfit.

Wear several light layers so that you can take them off and on as you move through the sequences. This also allows you to be prepared for any variation in temperature in an unfamiliar yoga studio. If you aren’t sure whether you’ll be hot or cold, light layers allow you to comfortably adjust to both possibilities.

Don’t Be Afraid To Bring a Blanket

The goal isn’t for you to take a nap on your yoga mat, but it may not be a bad idea to bring a blanket. Laying in savasana for an extended period of time can lower your body temperature an uncomfortable amount. Instead of focusing on relaxing, you may find yourself focused on keeping your shivering to a minimum.

With a blanket, you can ensure that your mind will stay focused on the breath and the relaxation that you’re desperately seeking.


Yoga Nidra can be a beneficial addition to most yoga practices, allowing yogis to stop and focus on rest as an act of self-love and compassion. With these essential tips on coming prepared, you’ll be better able to focus on your upcoming yoga class.

How to Flow Smoothly into Jump Back and Jump Through

Ashtanga yoga is the practice of self-discovery. In the ashtanga practice, jumping through and jumping back is one of the hardest moves that a beginner will encounter. It is commonly used as a transition from one posture to another, to flow smoothly with composure is to fly.

Between the two, jumping through is easier. Start in Downward-Facing Dog, shift your weight to your arms and jump through between them, either with straight legs or knees bent. The flow will come naturally unlike jumping back. Jumping back requires familiarizing yourself to the technique before you can actually flow to it. Both jumps teach patience and self-awareness of what’s happening internally.

But why does it seem impossible?

There are several physical aspects that hinder you from flying in your jump back and jump through. But do not be discouraged! This can be developed as you get deeper into the practice. Put your mind and heart into it and you will be unstoppable!

You’re not strong enough. It could be weak arms that can’t hold your weight, a core that isn’t strong enough to lift the hips away from the ground, hip flexors that won’t allow you to tuck your knees to your chest, tight shoulder and chest muscles limiting your range of motion and weak muscles on the back which allows your torso to fly as you bend your arms on a jump back.

Bad habit. If you already have the strength and flexibility needed but you still can’t flow smoothly, the problem could be on bad technique. It could be the mistake of placing your hands parallel to your hips. Another bad habit is being unable to do the whole jump back and landing halfway through and jumping again to finish the approach in a plank position. Or it could be that you’re bending your arms too early. In order to create space and lift your back, your weight should be placed in front of your hands and working out the rhythm and timing of when to bend your arms is crucial.

Flow smoothly. To jump back from a seated position with your legs crossed, plant your hand on the ground between the hips and feet. Don’t place your hand beside the hips; it’ll make shifting your weight forward harder. Inhale as you lift yourself off the ground. Feel your weight shifting to the foundations of the shoulders, and to your chest. Squeeze your core, stabilize your pelvis on the floor. Bend your arms once your ankles are aligned to your wrists and jump! Extend your legs back together. Use your triceps to support your weight in chaturanga dandasana. Inhale in Upward-Facing Dog and release into Downward-Facing Dog.

This simple transition develops strength both to the body and the mind. Jumping with composure and grace doesn’t only make the flow visually beautiful, but to fly smoothly and free yourself from self-doubts makes the practice more personal.

The practice of ashtanga Yoga is physically and mentally demanding. But internalizing the practice allows it to open to you and the possibilities from within. This is empowering. The journey to self-discovery won’t be easy. Keep practicing. Never stop learning. Always be patient with yourself and move with awareness.

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