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I can’t say I’ve always been a fan of chaturanga. For a long time, I did it as a part of my vinyasa practice without giving it much thought other than, I want to get through this awful pose as quickly as possible.

When I was in my twenties, I thought I was really strong. Except that when I look back at pictures of myself then, I wasn’t particularly strong. My arms are kind of skinny and undefined in those photos. Not that looks are always an indicator of strength, but I also remember what I was doing in my twenties. And it certainly wasn’t strength-building.

I thought I strong mostly because every year I had to lug my stuff from one 6th floor walk-up apartment to another. The truth is actually that I was young and stubborn, not especially strong. I was definitely more flexible than strong, which became my “claim to fame” in yoga. Known as the bendy girl, I could very impressively make my foot touch the back of my head without any warm up.

And I couldn’t do a single push-up.

After my first kid was born, I realized just how important upper body strength is.

Maybe it was the carrying my baby until I thought my arms were going to fall off that convinced me. Or maybe it was realizing that I would still need to carry her as she got older and bigger and heavier and more awkward to hold in my arms.

That was when I started prioritizing my upper body strength and it started with getting stronger at chaturanga.

Flash forward 8 years and I am still often carrying her fully asleep from my bed to hers. She’s gaining on me in height and carrying her sleeping body is definitely not the same as when she was an infant.

I’m really glad that I decided to work on my chaturanga to make carrying her then and now, easier.

If chaturanga isn’t the easiest for you, I created a video to help out. Whether you have a wrist or shoulder injury or you just don’t frequently bear weight in your upper body, this video will teach you how to get progressively stronger in chaturanga.

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