Yoga Challenge Day 4: Seated Archer

Here is a chest opener that helps to combat rounding of the shoulders for a sunken posture. Archer brings the chest up and out and makes space in between our shoulder blades, removing tension from the shoulders and back of the body.

Archer reminds us that yoga is different from almost anything else we do in life. Yoga isn't about achieving ("Look, I clasped my hands!") or failing ("I can barely bring my arms around to my back."). Yoga is about accepting where we are today, this day, in this moment, and celebrating what we CAN do instead of what we can't. As soon as we compare ourselves to our neighbors, or the instructor, or what we used to be able to do, we lose. As soon as we learn to rejoice in what is possible, and accept the limitations or gifts our body has to offer us, we win.

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Comment by Liz Lawler on April 15, 2010 at 5:56pm
Great way to use the breath to deepen the stretch. Love it.
Comment by Katheryn Harlan on April 15, 2010 at 4:08pm
I love to use this pose in class but caution my breast cancer students to NOT over stretch. Breathe into the scars & slowly move into a deeper stretch. Many times if they are recently post op I have the opposite hand gently guide the extended elbow back & down. A great pose but difficult for alot of beginners
Comment by Merrie on April 15, 2010 at 3:50pm
i never knew I was odd until I tried this in a class and no one else could come close to getting their hands together. ever since surgery, it hurts more, but I am determined to get back to my oddness again.
Comment by Carol Mazur on April 15, 2010 at 2:24pm
Agreed, a strap allows one to go as far as they can without overdoing it. Grabbing onto the clothes is not a viable option for me. And again, I may never be able to grasp my hands behind my back but I'm sure going to go as far as a I can.
Comment by Ellen Budish on April 15, 2010 at 1:55pm
I still find it difficult to sit crisscross. I need to do a minute of breathing before I try the new poses. See you tomorrow.
Comment by Ellen Budish on April 15, 2010 at 1:53pm
I think tomorrow I am going to read all your posts first because it would been helpful. I still find it diffi
Comment by Jim on April 15, 2010 at 1:47pm
I agree- for novices a back view would be helpful and if your hands don't reach, definitely use a strap to get the full benefits of the pose.
Comment by Lea Reinbolt Cornell on April 15, 2010 at 1:25pm
Wonderful pose that takes time to achieve unless you have loose shoulders. If you are not familiar with this posture, a view of her back to see hand/arm placement would be very helpful.
Comment by Diane Ferraro on April 15, 2010 at 1:20pm
Chest opener and heart opener--yummy!
Comment by Stephanie Skiba on April 15, 2010 at 12:54pm
This pose has been so good for me the past year. My lymph nodes were removed from my left side yet I have worked into being able to clasp my hands. It was hard at times not to pass judgment on myself for this and many other poses - that has definitely been a skill I needed to learn! I love that about yoga - that each day is different, each day my body is different. Not better, not worse - just different.

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