Motivator & Yoga Mentor For Men
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How to Do Chaturanga

Not Chatur- “Wrong. Uh!”

How do I do chaturanga without hurting my shoulder? -Aubrey K., Fishtown

Chaturanga, or as I like to call it: “a mindful yoga push-up,” can be a great way to build strength in the upper back and shoulders. If done with good alignment. Practicing chaturanga misaligned could be a shoulder shredder!

Be powerful and engaged, NOT painful and enraged!


Here are the Steps for a stellar Chaturanga :

Starting on hands and knees:

  • Place the hands with the center of the wrist under the outer shoulder.
  • Knees under your hips.
  • Wrists make a straight line across the mat.
  • Arms fully straight.
  • Shoulders even on the back.

Walk the knees 4-6 inches further back, tuck the toes and step back to high plank (top of a push-up).

  • Make your legs straight.
  • Feet vertical.
  • Wrist stay under the shoulders.
  • Arms stay straight.
  • Shoulders even on the back
  • Keep a natural curve in your low back.

While lowering down to low-plank, chaturanga:

  • Keep the chin angled forward, gaze slightly forward, about a foot in front of your fingertips.
  • Bend the elbows slightly away from the ribs.
  • Only lower down as far as you can keep power in the shoulders and upper back.

Common misalignments:

  • Do Not: squeeze your elbows in against the ribs!
  • Do Not: lower down so far that the head of the arm-bones round forward (aka slouching the upper back like a computer/slouch pose!
  • Do Not: let your hips hammock/drop towards the floor.

For Stronger/tighter Shoulders:

  • Try bending the elbows further away from the body while lowering down to keep the power in the upper back.


For those who are not yet strong enough to do a push-up:

  • Practice chaturanga on the knees, with good alignment.
  • Practice chaturanga non-weight baring while standing in tadasana.
  • Do not sacrifice alignment just to do a push-up.
  • Get stronger!

There you have it. Share these videos, and let’s save everyone from shoulder pain! One chaturanga at a time.

If you have a question the you’d like to Ask Jake, click here to contact Jake!