WHAT IS CHATURANGA AND WHY IS IT SO CONFUSING?
What is the best alignment for the yoga pose: Chaturanga? Well first let’s start with what Chaturanga is. Chaturanga is both a yoga pose and a transition otherwise known as a movement – a posture implies no movement, while a transition implies the movement between two static postures. Because Chaturanga is used as both a static posture and a transition, it is hard to have a universal conversation about it. We have to first agree on what it is in order to analyze “it”. Globally there is a discussion of “chaturanga” and yet everyone has a different idea of what it is in their mind, and thus there exists much controversy around what is the correct alignment of chaturanga.
How could there be a correct pose when the posture is usually taught as a movement from one posture to another? In modern vinyasa this pose is used to go from plank to upward dog, and in order for movement to occur it is a law that join alignment has to change, for if our joints do not change than no movement can occur. SO, while there are many reasons to practice chaturanga as an isolated pose, that is not how most people are practicing it these days, so it would be more useful to discuss how to move our bones and what muscles we can engage if we want a smooth flowing posture that minimizes risk of our joints.
CONFUSED BY GRAVITY
The movement is confusing mostly because of our relationship to gravity. When looking at the movement, it is actually not all that complex, there are only 3 major joints that change: the elbows go from straight to bend, the arm bone goes from being in front to by our side (flexion to neutral) and the shoulder blades go from apart to together (more or less) which is called protraction to retraction – explained in the video below. If you stand up and do the same actions with your arms while having your hands out in front, there is nothing mysterious or complex about the actions, but when you put the weight of your body plus gravity upon you then it gets interesting.
While the joints actions are simple in the movement from plank down toward the ground, the muscle engagements that slow the body down in this transition are actually the OPPOSITE of the joints. . For example the elbow is bending when moving from plank downward to chaturanga, BUT the muscles that need to engage in order to slow down the movement are actually your triceps. The Triceps are the muslces that straighten the elbow, and yet we are wanting the elbow to bend. If we don’t activate our triceps in the transition form plank to chaturanga than we would rapidly fall on the ground. We do this all the time in transitions, we activate the opposing muscles of what is happening anatomically in our joints. We even do it in most static postures – for example, how many poses have you done where you feel your quads burning, and yet your knee is bent? The muscles that straighten the knee are the quads, and yet they are fully engaged in bent kneed postures, so that you don’t completely bend your knee and wind up on the ground.
Each month you have the oportunituy to enroll in 3 weekly classe! You will get lifetime and unlimited access to each of the classes. Should you choose to enroll you will also have the oportunity to view all classes as they stream live 3 days a week. Each month has a physical focus to help you gain targeted techniques and advance your body awareness.
Be a part of the community, after enrolling you have the chance to connect with members through our exclusive facebook group where you can get tips directly from me, Matt Giordano. You are encouraged to share photos and videos of your practice for personalized support.
I look forward to sharing this practice with you and helping you develop in a big way!
WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT THE LIVE IMMERISONS
Matt‘s classes are phenomenal- if you ever have the ability to practice with him, make use of it!! He has a very unique talent of combining anatomy, yoga philosophy and his own perspective into a super intense package of knowledge which is fun AND easy to understand. I enjoyed the April immersion a lot as it was a great way of deepening my own practice and broadening my horizon, especially as the lifetime access allows you to take classes
as often as you want- trust me, you will want to take them again! I cant wait for next month’s classes and highly recommend everyone to take the May pass and joining in on the journey.
Covid_19 bought Matt into my home and my yoga practice. This last month I have learn’t so much it has deepened my practice and my understanding of the anatomy & biomechanics and how we use both in every asana we practice. He has also helped in my teaching, ie asking my students to think about the foot as a tripod “big toe, pinkie toe, heel ” I never imagined I would learn so much from the immersion.
ALIGN, REFINE AND MASTER YOUR FLOW
- 12 ALL LEVELS LIVESTREAM CLASSES
- WATCH ANYTIME WITH LIFETIME ACCESS
- SHARPEN YOUR SKILLSET & ADVANCE YOUR PRACTICE
YOGA ALIGNMENT: FULL WHEEL POSE THE 3 MYTHS DEBUNKEDFULL WHEELYOGA ALIGNMENT: FULL WHEEL POSEYoga alignment for Full Wheel Pose is anything but simple, but achieving an easeful expression of the posture in your body is most definitely attainable. We just have to break...
What is Yoga Alignment and is it important to keeping my body safe? will it advance my yoga practice? You may have heard that there is a right and wrong way to do a pose, so what I am about to share might shock you…
5 STEPS TO MAKE PIGEON POSE THE BEST HIP STRETCH IS YOUR PIGEON LAZY? PIGEONDOES PIGEON POSE INCREASE FLEXIBILITYIs Pigeon pose the best hip stretch? The quick answer, it depends how you do it. Somebody told me recently on instagram that I was blessed with open hips....
NECK & SHOULDER PAIN RELEIF THE 3 STEP RELEASENECK & SHOULDERSCAN SHOULDER TENSION CAUSE NECK PAIN?When someone comes to me complaining of neck and shoulder pain, they are usually rubbing their upper shoulder/neck area which are known as the trapezius muscle....
Flip Dog Dilemma – 3 Shoulder Actions for Wild Thing. Is the popular yoga pose “FLIP DOG” worth it? If you practice or have been to a modern vinyasa or power yoga class than you know that flip dog is a popular posture that is called out somewhere toward…
SAMADHI Dissolving into the state of oneness.SamadhiSamadhiSamadhi is the experience we have when the mind realizes the totality of itself - that it is one part of an infinitely grander whole. Using an analogy from one of my teachers, Alan Finger – Consiousness is...