I learned something new about Chatarunga

07 April 2011 | By Tania Ketenjian | 1 Comment

The other evening, Debbie Zambetti (love her name) demonstrated Chatarunga so well in class. I have posted about this pose before because it’s one of those ones that: a. is really important, b. I always have struggled with, c. includes a lot of details, d. once you get the hang of it can be a lot of fun!

So this is what I learned: when you are in plank and about to go down for chatarunga, your wrist has to be essentially at a right angle so where you place your hands is super important. Otherwise, you can really jeopardize your wrist and can cause some damage in the future. So that’s the first thing. Look at your hands, wrist and arm when in plank. Make sure they are at a ninety degree angle. Also, the eyes of your elbows should initially face each other and then they should face their respective thumbs (so a slight angle).

Finally, when you start going down—elbows in, chest open, legs straight, pace slow—you don’t need to go too far down. We often think we almost have to hover. That’s not the case. You just have to go down half way (or about that). Then, keeping that chest nicely open, move through the arms and into upward facing dog. Remember, it’s a sun salutation, and when we’re in the sun, we want to be open to it, feel its warmth and open our hearts. Same with chatarunga.

So next time you’re in chatarunga, think about your wrists, the angle, the amount you go down and how open you keep your chest throughout.


One Comment on “I learned something new about Chatarunga”

  1. I liked Debbie’s illustration of Chaturanga too. If your hands are right, and you lower to the right level (don’t want those elbows peeking out over your back) then you should be able to roll over your toes and straighten your arms into Downward Dog. My major problem is sensitive tootsies. I can’t seem to get that toe-rolling action down. I’d get some ballerina toe shoes to help, but I’d look rather silly wearing big pink slippers in yoga class. I guess I’ll have to toughen my tootsies. Any suggestions?


Leave a Comment