How to Do Chaturanga Dandasana

Learn how to master one of the most physically challenging yoga poses with these tips.

Chaturanga Dandasana, also known as Low Pushup or Four-Limbed Staff Pose, is one of the most physically challenging yoga poses. As the posture that connects high plank and Upward Facing Dog, it’s a critical part of the flow that’s frequently practiced in class.

Unlike a traditional pushup, this variation targets and engages the triceps muscles.


Can build upper body strength and is the transition pose between plank and Upward Facing Dog.


  • Start in high plank
  • Place your hands directly under your shoulders
  • Line the creases of your wrists up with the front edge of your mat and press your hands as flat as possible
  • Squeeze the muscles in your legs and pull your belly in
  • Shift your weight slightly forward, but stay on the balls of your feet. Don’t pull so far forward that you start to balance on your tip toes
  • Look forward as you lower halfway
  • Create a 90-degree angle with your arms and draw your elbows into your ribcage. Your shoulders should not drop lower than your elbows

At the same time, press your heels back and squeeze your legs vigorously. Maintain a long spine.

Lower to the mat, or move into Upward Facing Dog.


If you’re a beginner, consider starting with the modification of the Chaturanga.

  • Start in high plank
  • Place your knees on the floor, about six inches behind your hips
  • Shift your weight slightly forward and lower halfway, pulling your elbows into your sides
  • Lower to the mat, or flow into Cobra Pose


One mistake that some may make when practicing Chaturanga is allowing your elbows to wing out to your sides. Often, when this happens, your hips will dip to the floor. Instead, switch to the modification pose. Keep your core and arms strong.

With practice, you can build the strength and focus necessary to master this full-body pose.