Chaturanga is a pose that we move through time and time again during a vinyasa flow class. It's also one that I see so often being practiced incorrectly - it's a tough pose. In fact I would say it is a super advanced pose, here are a five tips for Chaturanga to help you with your practice.
1) In plank keep the hips in line with the rest of the body, energy moving out through the heels of the feet and lengthening to the front of the mat through the chest. Plank is an energetic pose. Push the mat away actively with your hands and lift the belly button in and up in order to engage the core.
2) Shift one inch forwards onto the tips of the toes. This is so important in order to find the correct alignment as you come down into Chaturanga.
3) As you lower down into Chaturanga keep the gaze forwards and the core engaged. Keep the shoulders in line with the elbows.
4) If you find that you are collapsing through the shoulders or the hips don't be afraid to lower down with the knees first until you build strength. There is no shame in taking this option - in fact in class I would much rather you take this option than rush through the transition because it doesn't feel good it won't be doing you any good.
5) Hug the elbows into the sides of the body, shoulders back and broaden through the chest.
One more thing - if you find you are collapsing through your hips please take note of this and make sure to drop down to your knees first in order to build up the upper body and core strength to move into this pose correctly. If you continually practice this pose with the wrong from it can cause injury. There is no shame in dropping to your knees or indeed skipping it all together and just simply meeting in downward facing dog.
I hope this helps!