"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Chaturanga Dandasana Pose
Chaturanga is one of the most common poses in yoga that we do over and over again especially if you practice vinyasa yoga. So many times I see students move through the pose so quickly they do not give themselves a chance to work through it. Two common pitfalls are the shoulder blades lift off the back and the head of the shoulder rounds forward; both place a tremendous load on the shoulder joint. The body will compensate this problematic position by lifting the butt up into the air.If you strengthen the upper back muscles this will rectify poor shoulder positioning in the pose.
The key is to make sure your arms are 90 degrees to the floor while lowering down. For this to happen you need to shift your body forward while in plank pose. Make sure you really shift forward - more than you think to broaden across the collar bones. Next, pin your shoulder blades to your back. Let them connect behind your heart. Bend your elbows and hugs them close to your ribs as you lower towards the ground. Your hands should be positioned by your lower ribs and not directly under your shoulders. Reach back with your heels and extend through the crown of your head.
~ Mary Jane - www.fengshuiyoganj.com