Ashtanga Namaskar: Knees, Chest, Chin
Today we’re highlighting Ashtanga Namaskar; more commonly known as ‘Knees, Chest, Chin.’ The name Ashtanga Namaskar translates as ‘Eight-Limbed Salutation’ – ashta means ‘eight’, anga means ‘limb’, and namaskar means ‘salutation.’ The ‘eight limbs’ refers to the parts of the body that touch the ground in this pose: the toes of both feet, both knees, both hands, the chest, and the chin.
Knees, Chest, Chin is a standard part of the classical Sun Salutation and is often substituted for Chaturanga. It’s a great posture for building strength in the arms while warming up the body and preparing it for activity.
We’ll build the pose from our previous pose, Plank Pose:
- As you exhale, lower your knees to the floor, keeping your toes tucked under
- Begin to bend the elbows back towards your ribs, hugging them close to the body – do not let them splay out to the sides
- Keep the hips lifted high off the floor as you lower your chest to the ground – do this with control; do not collapse
- Place your chest on the ground between your hands and gently touch your chin to the floor
If you experience any discomfort in your lower back or neck, only bring your chest as far down as you can without causing pain
- Increases flexibility in the spine and neck while opening the chest.
- Helps to strengthen the arms, shoulders, legs, abdomen, and back.
- Regular practice builds strength throughout your whole body and leads the way for other arm-balancing and weight-bearing postures (yay!)