Four-Limbed Staff pose /Chaturanga Dandasana
Chatur means four. Arniga means a limb or a part thereof. Danda means a staff. Lie flat on the floor, face down and take the weight of the body on the palms and toes, exhale and keep the body parallel to the floor, stiff as a staff. The four limbs supporting the body are the hands and feet. The pose is similar to dips in western gymnastics.
1. Lie flat on the floor, face downwards.
2. Bend the elbows and place the palms by the side of the chest. Keep the feet about a foot apart.
3. With an exhalation, raise the whole body a few inches above the floor, balancing it on the hands and the toes. Keep the body stiff as a staff, parallel to the floor from head to heel and the knees taut. Stay for some time with normal breathing.
4. Then gradually extend the whole body forward so that the feet rest on the upper portion of the toes on the floor.
5. Stay in the pose for about 30 seconds with normal or deep breathing.
The movement may be repeated several times. Then relax on the floor.
The pose strengthens the arms and the wrists develop mobility and power. It also contracts and tones the abdominal organs.
Source : Light on Yoga by BKS. Iyengar.