Four Limbed Staff Pose - Chaturanga Dandasana

Four Limbed Staff Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska


In Four Limbed Staff Pose or Chaturanga Dandasana in Sanskrit (‘Chatur’ means ‘four limbs’, ‘Danda’ means ‘staff of support’ and ‘Asana’, means ‘posture’), staff is referred to as the spinal cord, which is the main support system of the body. This pose is one of the steps in the group of 12 yoga poses in Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) and is considered a powerful strength builder in the arms and abs. It also helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Pose Detail

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start in a plank pose with your shoulders directly over your wrists and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core and keep your legs straight and strong.
Step 2
On an exhale, bend your elbows and lower your body halfway down, keeping your elbows hugged in toward your ribs. Your arms should form a 90-degree angle at your elbows.
Step 3
Hold the pose for a few breaths, keeping your core engaged and your body in a straight line. Make sure your shoulders don't dip lower than your elbows.
Step 4
To get out of the posture you can either lower all the way down onto the earth or proceed to another pose.

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthens the arms and wrists

Tones the abdomen


Carpal tunnel syndrome


Photo poses in different angles


To build strength in your upper body and core, start by practising holding Planks and Forearm Planks for up to a minute.

You can also lower your knees first from Plank pose and then bend the elbows to come into a Baby Chaturanga, keeping a straight line from your head to your knees.

Or substitute Chaturanga with Knees-chest-chin / Ashtanga Namaskara: From Plank pose lower your knees, keep your core engaged and move your chest and chin towards the floor. Keep your shoulders up away from the floor and keep your chest open.

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Four Limbed Staff Pose Work?

Chaturanga Dandasana or Four-Limbed Staff Pose helps to strengthen the arms, shoulders, wrists, and back. It’s also a great pose to shape your abdomen’s muscles.

How long should i hold Chaturanga Dandasana?

It all depends on your level of physical fitness. If you are new to yoga and don’t have enough strength in your arms, stay in the pose for 20 seconds. You can also modify the pose with both knees on the ground. Once you feel confident in holding the pose for 20 seconds raise the time to 30 seconds.
Remember it’s all about how you feel while in the pose but not about how long you stay in it. We do not recommend holding Chaturanga Dandasana for more than 1 min in general, because with time your muscules will get tired and relax and you will remain to hold the pose with your bones and that’s not what we want in this position.

Modifications & Variations

  • One Legged Four Limbed Staff Pose
  • Four-Limbed Staff Pose with a strap
  • Four-Limbed Staff Pose against a wall
  • Four Limbed Staff Pose with knees down

Top Preparatory Poses

Top Follow-Up Poses

  • Upward Facing Dog Pose
  • Cobra Pose
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.