Chataranga Dandasana, Staff Pose
by Rose Pelosi
Take. Your. Time. Just as all other postures it is not to be rushed and often times is.
• Entry: from plank, shift forward to the tippy toes. The body is now in alignment to lower just HALF WAY! neither the chin nor the shoulders touching the ground beneath you or coming closer than the rest of the body. Think Staff, one line of fierce energy. Hips included.
• As you lower, notice the weight in your hands. Can you keep your thumbs heavy to activate your biceps?
• Stay safe. Shoulders remain above or in line with the elbows keeping the body in effective alignment and preventing immense strain that is caused within the complexity of the shoulder joint when the shoulders drop below the elbows! Very common when moved through with momentum rather than core strength. This is huge and I could say it all day with love.
• Involve the whole body. PAUSE here. Draw the low belly in towards the spine, feel your front body catch you. Then notice the backs of the legs, let them help lift you, keeping you hovering with balance and control.
• Press your toes into the Earth with conviction.
• Feel the forward motion of your heart center, gazing forward rather than down that will lead you into Upward Facing Dog.
Most of all, honor your body when practicing this challenging, heat building posture by moving more slowly, and respecting whatever place of strength you are working from! We modify not because we aren’t capable, but because we are capable of listening to the body and being our highest selves in any given moment. Feel so strong inside and out the next time you move through your Vinyasa!
Tune up your yoga practice with helpful tips from Venice-based yoga teacher Rose Pelosi. Pelosi teaches private lessons both inside and at the beach. Follow her on instagram @bodyloveyoga.
Get tips on how to maximize your downward facing dog here.