Wednesday’s Favorite Find

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All cues are meant to be used when you're in full expression of the pose unless otherwise noted.

Week 1:

What you’ll learn:

  • Why taking push-ups with different arm variations is so important.
  • Tips on how to strengthen your body for chaturanga.
  • Why Mary (an anatomy instructor for Judith Hansen Lasater’s program) feels chaturanga isn’t the problem when it comes to shoulder pain, but rather how we’re doing it.


Pam’s notes:

  • I cannot believe she does 108 push ups a day. That’s…a lot! It is important to understand that our bodies and tissues can be very different than our neighbor’s on our mat. I’m pretty sure if I did 108 push ups a day (even if I worked progressively up to them), I would end up with a wear and tear problem. Just sayin’. Listen to your body!!!
  • The big take away is stability in the shoulder blades as we move through a yogi push up, i.e. chaturanga.
  • If you go to my chaturanga blog, you will see why taking the elbows out (and wider hands too) is easier for some on the shoulder joint. I oftentimes will warm up for traditional chaturanga with hands wider and knees on the ground.

Week 2:

What you’ll learn:

  • Where the jumpback to Plank/Chaturanga came from.
  • What’s happening in the wrist, elbows, and shoulders in a jumpback to Plank vs Chaturanga.

Pam’s notes:

  • There is very little science when it comes to yoga poses. Even the *science* that is out there may only involve 2-10 people and, as you know, our bones and internal structures can be quite different.
  • As always, if something doesn’t feel right in your body, don’t do it.

Week 3:

What you’ll learn:

  • How to use a strap and two blocks to practice chaturanga.
  • You may have seen variations like this before, but a reminder is always nice. I’ve been using variations like this all month (it is my theme!) and I already notice a difference in my students alignment…and so do they! You can see more variations on my instagram page.

Pam’s notes:

  • I like to change things up every now and then in class and introduce a new way to approach a pose.
  • Using a strap around your arms is a little like having a safety net when you lower down into Chaturanga. I love it! Whether you’re beginner or an advanced student, practicing this variation can be both beneficial and fun.

Week 4:

What you’ll learn:

  • Why a orthopedic surgeon says we should only lower half way down in Chaturanga
  • An anatomy lesson of the shoulder joint

Pam’s notes:

  • If you feel better taking your elbows out to the sides in Chaturanga, I suggest taking your hands out wider as well. This positioning is believed to create less strain in your shoulder joint.
  • If you are someone who has impeccable control when taking Chaturanga, lowering more than half way is a call you need to make for yourself. Personally, I feel mixing it up is important. However, there is a time and place to work “out of alignment.” When moving through 10-30 Chaturangas in a class, I believe the safest position in Chaturanga is halfway down.
  • What about when you lower all the way down to the ground? Good question! I’ve wondered about this myself. My answer is: CONTROL. Don’t rush it. Find good alignment and stay with it. If need be, take your knees down the last half of the way.


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