Backward Bends

Chatushpadasana (Four Feet Pose)

Four Feet Pose
Level: Intermediate

Chatushka = consisting of four. Pada = a foot.

This variation of Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) is quite a bit more challenging. Make sure you have a firm grip on the ankles while keeping the heels on the ground to protect the knees. It can be made quite a bit easier by looping a belt around the ankles and holding onto that instead,

Organizing the Pose

  1. Lie flat on the back.
  2. Bend the knees and place the feet flat on the floor close to the hips.
  3. Lift the hips a little bit off the floor and take hold of the ankles.
  4. Roll the shoulders down into the floor and widen the collarbones.
  5. Exhale and swing the hips and thighs towards the knees.
  6. Widen and lift the back.
  7. Hold this position for 20 seconds to several minutes.
  8. Release out of the pose.
  9. Draw the knees into the chest if you need to release the lower back or stretch the legs out to release the thighs.

Practice Points

  • Relax the buttocks completely, finding strength in the inner thighs instead.
  • Lengthen the tailbone towards the knees.
  • Soften the thighs and lengthen them towards the knees.
  • Stretch from the hip creases to the top of the head.
  • Strengthen the sides of the waist and roll them towards the head.
  • Widen and lift the back ribs.
  • Widen the shoulder blades and the collarbones.
  • Lift the backs of the armpits while descending the fronts.
  • Soften and deepen the notch between the collarbones.
  • Soften and widen the throat and the back of the neck.