Chaturanga Makeovers

In a workshop setting we are able to spend one on one time with the student so that we can work with them and there specific anatomy and depending on where they are in their practice.
— Katie Brown
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Katie recently taught Charge up Your Chaturanga to Inner Bliss students at our Westlake studio.

This workshop was designed to help students understand and feel confident in low plank pose. 

What did students do during the workshop? 

Each student found a partner to pair up with for the workshop. Each partner pair took a "before" picture of what their Chaturanga was before we began to break it down. This provided an opportunity to not only feel where the student is beginning from but to see it with their eyes.  Often what we think we look like is different than what we actually look like. This gave us a good foundation and clarity in which to move forward.

We touched on each part of the Sun Salutation and transitions from pose to pose. We broke down alignment in our plank prior to learning a safe way to lower to Chaturanga. We went through phases of the pose to feel each part of the body that is engaged. We used blocks and so many awesome questions were asked throughout the workshop. 

But the most amazing part of this workshop was that we are a collective group learned how important it is to have a solid foundation in the pose before you more forward. We finished the workshop by taking "after" pictures of our Chaturangas and could see and feel the difference! It was awesome to actually see the results.  

What were the common "mistakes" with students' Chaturanga poses?

Common "misalignments" in Chaturanga are:

  • The shoulder dipping below the elbows. In Chaturanga the arms should create a 90 degree angle with the floor.  When the shoulders repeatedly dip below the elbows overtime this can result in an overuse injury and even serious joint damage. Because this mis alignment places a lot of stress on the shoulder joint, you often see the student's butt go up in the air in an effort to compensate. It is also important to have your shoulders over your wrist in your plank before you lower to your Chaturanga, this will help with that alignment. Taking the pictures of our poses REALLY helped with this particular misalignment. 
  • The arms often "splay" or "wing out." In Chaturanga, elbows point straight back and and the upper arms "hug" the side bodies.
  • Moving through Chaturanga too quickly. We often rush through this pose, because it is difficult. Simply by slowing down and being aware of our alignment can make a big difference in this pose.
  • Hips sinking towards the ground. The student really feel this in the low back. As you are building strength in your Chaturanga and you are experiencing this, simply lower your knees to the ground and build strength with a solid foundation. Having a strong and engaged core takes time, so be patient! The more you practice safely and build strength, the stronger your Chaturanga will be.

What were the results of the workshop?

Their Chaturanga's looked AMAZING! The before and after pictures are the proof.  Every student left having both awareness and tools for a healthy Chaturanga. Every student's body is different! In a workshop setting we are able to spend one on one time with the student so that we can work with them and their specific anatomy and depending on where they are in their practice. Whether they are building strength or are more aware of their own body each student has a clear path on which they can practice this pose.

Will we do any similar workshops in the future?

We will definitely do this workshop again!  It was such a fun afternoon, learning, practicing, growing, connected, laughing, falling and picking ourselves back up. I know for certain I learned so much from them too!

See Katie's teaching schedule here.