Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Chutarunga

(Chutarunga Dandasana)

I chose to focus on Chutarunga today because it's essential for any Vinyasa flow class. If somebody says, "Take a vinyasa", you have to go through chuttarunga to get into Cobra, Sphinx, or Updog, AND we spent a good part of this weekend's class breaking down the nitty gritty details of this pose. What better time to break it down for you than when its all super fresh in my brain?! :)

Let's start in plank again, shall we?

Wrists are underneath the shoulders (mine are a little wider, which is okay!), triceps are rolling back, shoulders are away from the ears, neck is long, core is engaged, butt is lifted but not "up", quads are engaged, heels are extending/reaching towards the back of the room.

To get into chuttarunga, pinch your elbows to your sides and lower down slowly until your elbows are bent to a 90 degree angle. The only things that change are your arms and your toes. Your toes propel you forward juuuuust a smidge so that your heart can lead you forward into the pose instead of collapsing down.

See the difference?

It's also best (and kind of hard to explain) to get the sensation of lifting up off your hands instead of collapsing down into the floor. This will help protect the wrists. The stronger your arms and your core are, the easier this is to accomplish.

So, why chutarunga? For one thing, it is excellent for strengthening the core. If you can hold chutarunga for a while, all of the muscles in your core will start to burn like crazy!
It's also fantastic for strengthening the shoulders, wrists, and triceps.

As a beginner, its helpful to start by lowering your knees to the ground before bending at the elbows. Just make sure you're still keeping the rest of your body in that straight line as you lower into the pose.

From here, you can move into sphinx, updog, or cobra, which I will talk about next week! :)

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