Knees-Chest-Chin Pose - Ashtanga Namaskara

Knees-Chest-Chin Pose - YanvaYoga

Contents

Knees-Chest-Chin Pose or Ashtanga Namaskara in Sanskrit (‘Asht’ means ‘eight’, ‘anga’ means ‘Limbs’ and ‘Namaskara’ means ‘Bowing down’) is often taught as a beginner’s alternative to Chaturanga Dandasana in a sun salutation sequence. You are prone with your back arched and chin, chest, hands, knees, and feet touching the mat. It’s a great way for beginners to work on building the arm strength needed for Chaturanga Dandasana. It also acts as a warm-up for the backbends you’ll likely get to later in your practice session. In the sun salutations, it is the sixth pose.

Also Known As: Eight-Limbed Salutation, Salute With Eight Parts, Caterpillar Pose

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin in Plank Pose. Make sure your shoulders are directly above your wrists.
Step 2
With an exhalation, lower your knees to the floor. Keep your toes tucked under.
Step 3
Hug your elbows in toward your sides, pointing them back toward your heels. Keeping your hips lifted off the floor and palms flat, bring your chest to the floor.
Step 4
Place your chest between your hands and gently touch your chin to the floor.
Step 5
Hold for 1-10 breaths, and then lower your body all the way to thematand rest. 

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Prepares the body for low plank pose (chaturanga dandasana)

Releases tension in the upper back and shoulders

Builds arm and core strength

Builds spinal flexibility

Contraindications

Pregnancy

Neck, shoulder, elbow, or wrist injury

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications and Props

  • Lethargy or weakened abdominal muscles make it harder to hold the posture for long. So, the practitioner can place a block in between the thigh. By squeezing the block one can acquire the necessary strength to hold the position. However, it also assists the core muscles to engage as per their ability.
  • Individuals with sensitive knees find it hard to remain in a contact with the floor too long. So, one can place a soft blanket to reduce the inflammation during the posture.
  • Practitioners having discomfort in placing chest and chin to the ground can use a piece of soft cloth in order to insulate the situation. This will shift the focus on improving the balance of the posture.

Tips

Avoid these errors so you get the most from this pose.

  • Entering Pose Too Fast
    Take this pose slowly and don’t let your body fall into it. Your back muscles will be engaged while lowering your body. You shouldn’t have pain or discomfort. If you feel any, take your chest down only as far as you can without pain.
  • Elbows Flared
    Don’t let your elbows stick out. Concentrate on keeping them hugged to your sides and pointed towards your heels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Variations

  • Wide Legged Four Limbed Staff Pose
  • One Legged Four Limbed Staff Pose

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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.