Ahhhh, chaturanga. The yoga “push up.”

I dreaded this pose for so long when I first started yoga because I just could not do it. So instead I would plop to the ground and move on to the next pose.

But one day I realized I am not doing myself any favors by taking the easy way out.

How am I supposed to make progress if I don’t even try?

So I finally sucked it up and began to tackle this pose, learning about alignment and little tricks that can help make it possible, and I’m so glad I did because it has definitely opened the door for so much in terms of fitness and being able to push past mental blocks.

 

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If you’re in the same position, or are new to yoga and have no idea where to start, here’s an overview of this fundamental pose that is seen in almost every yoga flow:

1. Start in plank position with your hands directly under shoulders.
2. Lower yourself, shifting your body forward so that your hands are by your lower ribs, keeping elbows close to your body. (If you are just new learning this and having troubles, press your elbows into your body until you gain strength.)
3. Keep your shoulders at the same level as your elbows and not lower.
4. Make sure your core is engaged the entire time, creating a straight line from your neck to your heels. Shoulder blades should be down.

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Whenever you are on your hands, it helps to shift some weight to your fingertips in order to distribute some of the weight off your wrists, especially if that is a problem area for you.

You can also use a block to help you with alignment.

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