March 29, 2017

Knees, Chest, Chin
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 underYoga Tutorial: Knees, Chest, Chin
  • 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
  • Breathe
Modification:
  • If you experience any discomfort in your lower back or neck, only bring your chest as far down as you can without causing pain
Benefits:
  • 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!)
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About the author 

Natalie

I am a yoga teacher who focuses on bridging the gap between what happens on the mat and life off the mat. Yoga is life – it is meant to be lived!

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