As we look further into the complex universe of the shoulder joint and the role it plays in our Yoga practice, a posture whose eminence and frequency demands a clear overview is Chaturanga Dandasana (Low Plank). The amount of times I have had students give me notice that they can no longer perform this pose because of the strain they feel in their shoulder/s, exceeds my capacity to recount.
Like many other teachers, the technique that I initially learned to perform this pose with was very cursory and missed the anatomical integrity that it so badly deserves.
The most common and omissions I see over and over again are:
1. Alignment of shoulders with respect to the hands
2. The angle of the humerus (upper arm) with respect to the torso
3. The grip/contact of the hands on the mat
4. Position of the head
The all too pervasive instruction in this pose is to move the shoulders forward of the hands and maintain a vertical line of the forearms (pic 1). The danger with this technique is that it...