Chaturanga Dandasana is a pose that you will encounter often in Vinyasa yoga and when doing the Sun Salutation sequences. Chatur means four, anga means limb and danda means staff which is why in English it is called Four Limb Staff Pose. The four limbs being referred to are the hands and feet which support the entire body. In classes you may also hear it being referred to as low plank. It is a challenging pose that requires arm, back and abdominal muscle strength. It is a great asana to practice to build that upper body strength and become aware of your body in space.
It takes time to build the strength to hold this pose. If you find your hips are dropping to the floor, your spine alignment is compromised and you don’t yet have the strength to perform it in its full expression then drop your knees. It is better to take the modified version of Chaturanga Dandasana so that you engage the required muscles and build that strength first.
Remember to honour your body and if it’s struggling don’t force it to do something it is not ready for.
If you would like to challenge yourself then instead of lowering yourself down all the way to the floor, from Chaturanga Dandasana push yourself back up into Phalakasana and rest in Balasana (child’s pose). Please make sure to take the modified version if you need it, too often in classes you can see people insisting on lowering themselves down without using their knees but their hips collapse down and the integrity of the pose is compromised.
Enjoy practicing Four Limb Staff Pose, it will definitely strengthen your entire body over time.