Iyen­gar Yoga teacher Lu­ci­enne Vi­dah moves you from Marichyasana I to Akarna Dha­nurasana, or Archer Pose I.

Yoga Journal - - CONTENTS - By Lu­ci­enne Vi­dah

BEN­E­FITS Stretches your ham­strings and glutes; awak­ens your torso; pro­motes cir­cu­la­tion in your ab­dom­i­nal or­gans; de­vel­ops in­tro­spec­tion


1 Sit in Dan­dasana (Staff Pose) with your legs stretched out in front of you, arms by your sides, palms down on the mat. Press into your hands, and en­gage your tri­ceps to lengthen your arms. Lift the sides of your trunk. Stretch your legs by mov­ing your calf mus­cles to­ward your heels, push­ing your heels for­ward.

2 Bend your left leg, and bring your knee to­ward your chest. Place your left foot on the mat so it’s par­al­lel to your right thigh and close to your left but­tock. In­ter­lock your fin­gers around the top of your left shin, and lift your el­bows to armpit height to pull up your side ribs. On an in­hala­tion, lift the sides of your torso from your hips to your armpits; on the ex­ha­la­tion, press your but­tocks down.

3 Main­tain length in your sides and stretch your arms to­ward the ceil­ing as you would in Urd­hva Has­tasana (Up­ward Salute).

4 Ex­tend for­ward from your hip joints and lower your arms to hold your right foot with both hands. Lift your head slightly, and pull your sides for­ward and up. Take a breath. Re­dis­tribute your weight over both but­tocks, and press your left foot down on the floor. On an in­hala­tion, use your hands to pull on your right foot to ex­tend your trunk far­ther for­ward. On the ex­ha­la­tion, de­scend your torso over your right leg. Try to go down as far as pos­si­ble, es­pe­cially with your left side, armpit, and shoul­der. Stay for 3 breaths.

5 With your left arm, reach around and be­hind your left leg, and swing your right arm be­hind your back to bring your hands to­gether. If pos­si­ble, grip your right wrist bone with your left hand, cre­at­ing a solid clasp.

6 Keep your shoul­ders par­al­lel, and breath by breath de­velop the for­ward bend­ing ac­tion: Imag­ine that your in­hala­tion reaches the skin of your en­tire back—and that your ex­ha­la­tion ends deep down in your pelvis. As the re­sis­tance in your back mus­cles eases, see if you can place your chin on your shin or knee. Re­main here for about 30 sec­onds. Re­lease your arms grad­u­ally; take a few deep breaths, and re­peat on the other side.

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