As a yoga teacher I find that many students struggle with high plank to low plank AKA Chaturanga Dandasana.
It’s something we may do hundreds of times and have no clue we’re doing it wrong. But incorrect form can lead to injury and pain over time, particularly in the joints.
So here’s a little break down for you to try 🙂
Remember that it takes practice – the beauty of yoga is the self awareness transformation – don’t beat yourself up if you’re doing it wrong or you feel weak (it takes quite a bit of upper body and core strength) – over time you’ll develop the strength and you’ll be flowing with ease.
And please LMK if this is helpful or totally confusing 🙂
HOW TO CHATURANGA DANDASANA (HIGH TO LOW PLANK):
Start in high plank – your body should be in 1 straight line. Shoulders integrated (roll them back and down, like you’re squeezing a pencil in between your shoulder blades), and stacked over your wrists. Arms engaged, with a slight bend in the elbows so they’re not locked. Core engaged (lift your navel back and up toward your spine). Legs engaged, inner thighs rolled in, heels pressing back. Gaze slightly in front of you.
2. Shift your weight forward – doing this brings your chest forward, and now your shoulders are in front of your wrists. You should be on the tips of your toes. I think this is the key step to a fluid transition from high to low.
[TIP – modify by bringing your knees to the mat as you move from high to low- this is how you work to build your upper body strength. I’d much rather see a student do this than do it all wrong.]
3. Lower to low plank – you’re essentially doing a tricep push up here. Bend your elbows, pressing them straight back so your arms form a 90 degree angle. Use a block as your guide, it will help you understand where you should stop. Your body should be in 1 straight line, muscles still engaged, your gaze in front of you.