3 Exercises That'll Help You Master Chaturanga Pose

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I’m pretty confident as I ease through my yoga flow – that is, until I hit Chaturanga pose. As I try to gracefully lower myself to the floor, my shaky arms almost always give out.

According to Sophie Jaffe, a certified yoga instructor and owner of Philosophie, the foundational yoga pose is all about using strength from your core while activating leg-and-arm balance. I figured a new strength-training routine would do some good, so with that, Jaffe offered up some core and triceps-focused moves that can be done at home. Hopefully now my Sun Salutations will be seamless the next time I’m in the studio.

Related: The 1 Yoga Pose Most People Get Wrong – and How to Fix It

Triceps Dips

  • Grip the edges of a stable bench or chair about shoulder-length apart.
  • Hover just off and in front of your seat, keeping your feet flat and legs bent or legs extended for more intensity.
  • Straighten your arms with a slight bend to keep tension away from your elbow joints and onto your triceps. This is your start position.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body until your arms form about a 90-degree angle.
  • Then, engage your triceps and push back up to the start position. This is one rep.
  • Keep your shoulders down as you raise and lower, and keep your back close to the bench or chair.
  • Aim for three sets of 10-15 reps.


  • Begin on the floor on your hands and knees.
  • Place your hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Step your feet back one at a time with your toes flexed. Your hands and toes should entirely support the weight of your body.
  • For stability and a modification, bring your feet a bit wider apart. Intensify the pose by bringing them closer together.
  • Keep a straight line from your heels to your back and up through the top of your head.
  • Activate your core and tighten your entire midsection.
  • Hold for 20-60 seconds, and don’t forget to breathe.
  • Repeat for a total of three planks. As you get stronger, aim to do the plank for longer than a minute.

Related: 30-Minute Total-Body-Toning Yoga Sequence


  • Begin in a plank position with your arms straight.
  • Keep your shoulders over your wrists to avoid injury and maintain a straight line throughout your body.
  • Engage your core, and don’t let your hips sag.
  • Slowly bend your elbows until they reach about a 90-degree angle and lower your chest toward the floor.
  • Then, press back up into the starting plank position.
  • Aim to complete three sets of 8-10 reps.

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