Chaturanga Dandasana “four-limbed staff pose” is a base pose to become comfortable in before advancing to more difficult poses requiring a certain level of core, shoulder, and arm strength.
From Parvatasana (Adho Mukha Savasana) known as Downward Dog, move forward into a high plank. Use your exhale to lower down to the ground, engaging the core by keeping the shoulders pulled in and down, and the pelvis tilted forward.
Look up along the floor in front of you and use your breath to keep the pose steady. Don’t let the arms splay out to the sides. In fact, you can really use the arms to help leverage the body if you lack strength by hugging them in tight against the body and creating a sort of ‘shelf’ to assist you in holding the pose.
You can use a block positioned under the sternum to help practice this pose. Get into position and lay on top of the block, then begin to experiment with contracting your arm, shoulder, core, and leg muscles to lift the body as much as you can into the final pose, using the block to take some of your weight. This allows you to slowly work on strengthening the active muscles while maintaining proper alignment.
This pose strengthens the arms, shoulders, and wrists while toning the core muscles.
Avoid this pose if you have carpel tunnel syndrome or any other illness or injury of the wrists. Also avoid this pose if you are pregnant.