Yoga Push Up: How To Do the Yoga Push-Up Effectively

Yoga push up

Are you looking to master the art of a challenging yet rewarding yoga push-up? As you dive into the world of this dynamic exercise, you’re embarking on a journey that not only strengthens your body but also nourishes your mind and spirit. Imagine flowing seamlessly from a strong plank position to a graceful, controlled descent, engaging your core, arms, and shoulders with intention and precision.

Get ready to discover the transformative potential of this foundational yoga pose and unlock a deeper connection between your body and breath. Let’s embark on this empowering journey together and unleash the full benefits of the yoga push-up!

Key Takeaways

  • Muscles Targeted: The primary muscles worked during yoga push-ups include the chest, with secondary engagement of the abs, shoulders, and triceps.

  • Proper Form: Maintaining proper form, including elbows close to the body, straight back, and controlled movement, is crucial for maximizing the benefits of yoga push-ups while minimizing the risk of injury.

  • Sets and Reps: Beginners can start with 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps, intermediate level can aim for 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps, and advanced practitioners can challenge themselves with 4 sets of 12-15 reps.

  • Benefits: Incorporating yoga push-ups into your routine strengthens upper body muscles, enhances core stability, improves shoulder stability, increases mind-body awareness, boosts metabolism, improves posture, enhances functional strength, and promotes a strong mind-body connection.

  • Variations: Different variations, such as the pike push-up, diamond push-up, and the classic yoga push-up, offer options to target specific muscle groups or add variety to your workout routine.

What Muscles Does Yoga Push Up Work?

The yoga push-up, also known as Chaturanga Dandasana, primarily targets the following muscles:

Shoulders (Deltoids): The shoulders are heavily engaged as you stretch because they are responsible for stabilizing and lowering the body during the descent phase of the yoga push-up.

Chest (Pectoralis Major): The chest muscles are engaged to support and control the movement of lowering the full body weight towards the floor in a controlled manner.

Triceps: The triceps muscles are activated as they work to extend and bend the elbows and push the body back up to the starting position.

Core Muscles: The entire core, including the abdominals and lower back muscles, must engage to maintain proper alignment and stability throughout the movement.

Serratus Anterior: This muscle is crucial for stabilizing the shoulder blades and is activated during the protraction of the shoulder blades in the yoga push-up.

In general, the yoga push-up is a superb compound workout that engages various muscle groups at the same time, providing a demanding and efficient full-body exercise.

How to perform yoga push ups

It’s important to note that the push-up yoga pose differs from the standard push-up typically performed in a gym or fitness class. Understanding the nuances of this movement can aid in maintaining proper alignment, allowing for maximum benefits while minimizing the risk of injury.

The yoga push-up, or Chaturanga Dandasana in yoga terminology, is a beneficial bodyweight exercise that focuses on engaging multiple muscle groups. Here are the steps to execute a yoga push-up:

Starting Position: Begin in the plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart, wrists directly under your shoulders, feet and toes tucked under, creating a straight line from your head to your heels.

Engage Core Muscles: Engage your core by drawing your stomach and navel towards your spine and keeping your body in a straight line.

Lowering Phase: Slowly lower your body towards the floor while keeping your elbows close to your front ribs and maintaining a straight back. Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor, forming a 90-degree angle at the elbows.

End Position: Hold yourself in a low plank position (Chaturanga) for a moment, ensuring proper alignment and muscle engagement.

Upward Phase: Push through your palms and press yourself back up to the starting plank position. Keep your legs straight core engaged throughout the movement.

Repeat: Perform several repetitions of the yoga push-up, focusing on maintaining control and alignment throughout the exercise.

Remember to breathe deeply and listen to your body’s limits while performing yoga push-ups to avoid strain or injury.

Sets And Reps

For yoga push-ups, you can start with the following recommendations for sets and reps:


  • Sets: 2-3 sets

  • Reps: 8-10 reps per set


  • Sets: 3-4 sets

  • Reps: 10-12 reps per set


  • Sets: 4 sets

  • Reps: 12-15 reps per set

Feel free to adjust the number of sets and reps based on your fitness level and goals. Focus on maintaining proper form and controlled movement throughout each repetition. Additionally, you can incorporate yoga push-ups into your regular workout routine or yoga practice to build strength and endurance in your upper body and core muscles. 

Benefits Of Yoga Push Up

The yoga push-up, also known as Chaturanga Dandasana, offers a variety of benefits for both the body and mind. Here are some key benefits of practicing yoga with push up variation side-ups:

Strengthens Upper Body Muscles: Yoga push-ups target the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles, helping to build strength and endurance in these areas.

Improves Core Stability: The engagement of the core muscles during yoga push-ups helps to improve overall core strength and stability, which is essential for maintaining proper posture and balance.

Enhances Shoulder Stability: By engaging the shoulder muscles and stabilizing them in the lowered position, yoga push-ups help enhance shoulder stability and reduce the risk of injuries.

Increases Mind-Body Awareness: Practicing yoga push-ups requires focus and concentration on proper alignment and breath control, promoting mindfulness and awareness of your body’s movements.

Boosts Metabolism: Performing yoga push-ups can help increase heart rate and boost metabolism, making it a beneficial exercise for calorie burning and weight management.

Improves Posture: Strengthening the muscles involved in yoga push-ups can help improve overall posture, reducing the risk of back and shoulder pain associated with poor posture.

Mind-Body Connection: The flow and mindfulness required in yoga push-ups help foster a strong mind-body connection, promoting overall well-being and relaxation.

Incorporating yoga push-ups into your fitness routine can provide a wide range of physical and mental benefits, helping you improve strength, stability, and body awareness.

Yoga Push Up Variations

Yoga push-up variations offer a diverse range of challenging movements that not only target your upper body strength but also engage your core, balance, and flexibility. Here are descriptions of the three different variations of push-ups:

Pike Push-Up

pike push up yoga push up
  • To execute a pike push-up, begin in a downward dog pose, ensuring your hands are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your hips are raised high.

  • Descend by bending your elbows close to your body to lower your head towards the ground.

  • Press back up to the starting position by straightening your arms.

Diamond Push-Up

diamond push up yoga push up alternative
  • Commence by assuming a plank position, with your hands positioned close together directly under your chest to create a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers.

  • Lower your body towards the floor by bending the elbows, maintaining their proximity to your sides.

  • Push back up to the starting position by straightening your arms.

You may also like: Yoga Mat Workout

These variations provide options to target different muscle groups or add variety to your workout routine. It’s essential to maintain proper form and alignment in each variation to maximize their effectiveness and prevent injury. You can incorporate these variations into your regular workout routine to challenge yourself and continue progressing in your strength and fitness goals.


The yoga push-up, also known as Chaturanga Dandasana, is a highly effective compound exercise that targets various muscle groups simultaneously, providing a challenging and beneficial total body workout. By engaging muscles such as the chest, shoulders, triceps, core, and serratus anterior, the yoga push-up helps build strength, stability, and endurance while promoting proper alignment and muscle control.


What are yoga push ups good for?

It is a good way to build strength in your upper body, core, and lower body. They can also improve your posture, balance, and coordination. Additionally, because they involve slow, controlled movements and deep breathing, they can also help to reduce stress and improve focus.

What is a yoga push up called?

A yoga push up, also known as a “chaturanga” or “four-limbed staff pose,” is a yoga pose that involves using one arm and lowering your body to the ground from a plank position while keeping your core and upper body engaged.

How can I modify the Chaturanga pose if I am not able to perform it yet?

The Chaturanga pose can be modified by using a yoga block placed on the floor for support, or by lowering one leg from the knees to the ground. Alternatively, practitioners can perform a modified version of the pose by lowering the body down to the knee or elbow, rather than the full Chaturanga.


Sara Angle and Kristen Geil, NASM-CPT. (2022). How to Do Chaturanga aka a Yoga Push-Up. Available at: [Accessed 28 Mar 2024].

Derek Haigler. Push-Up Pose: How To Do the Push-Up Pose Effectively. Available at: [Accessed 28 Mar 2024].

Patrick Dale, PT, ex-Marine. (2023). Yoga Push-Up Guide: Muscles Worked, How-To, Benefits, and Alternatives . Available at: [Accessed 28 Mar 2024].

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